Live from the White House Science Fair with Kari Byron and Bill Nye

Cristin Dorgelo: Welcome to the
Fourth White House Science Fair. I’m Cristin Dorgelo and I’m so
excited to be here with Bill Nye the Science Guy and Kari
Byron, host of Mythbusters and Science ChAnneel’s
Head Rush. It’s going to be a fantastic
live webcast today. We’re here at the science
fair and if you don’t know, the Science Fair is an Anneual
celebration of students that are excelling in science,
technology, engineering, and math. Otherwise known as STEM. The kids here today are 100
students that have won — they’re from more than 30 states
and they are winners of 40 different science and technology
competitions and we’re going to get to meet some of those
here today and talk about new steps in the President’s
Educate to Innovate Campaign, trying to get more
kids into STEM. So, why don’t we meet our
first kids, Bill and Kari? What do you think? Bill Nye: Bring it on. Kari Byron: Yeah. Cristin Dorgelo: Who’s up first? Kari Byron: Oh, yeah. Rocket girls. Bill Nye: This is
the rocket girls. Yes. Cristin Dorgelo: Woo. Bill Nye: In red. 825 — 850 feet? Female Speaker: 825. Bill Nye: 825 feet
in English units. Kari Byron: Wait, first
off, what are your names? Rebecca Chaffin:
I’m Rebecca Chaffin. Jasmyn Logan: I’m Jasmyn Logan. Nia’mani Robinson:
I’m Nia’mani Robinson. Kari Byron: And where
do you come from? Rebecca Chaffin: We are all
from Maryland, actually. So — Bill Nye: Actually — actually
from actual Maryland. Capital of Annapolis. Cristin Dorgelo: Pretty close. Didn’t have too far to come. Rebecca Chaffin: Yeah,
not a big commute. Bill Nye: Where in Maryland? Jasmyn Logan: We’re
from Largo, Maryland. Rebecca Chaffin: And I’m
from the Crofton area. Kari Byron: And so tell
us about your project? Rebecca Chaffin:
Want me to — Bill Nye: No, you. No, no, really no. (Laughter.) Rebecca Chaffin: Okay. So I guess we are all
representing the Team America Rocketry Challenge which is a
really, really cool program. So, we build and launch rockets. That’s our main thing which is
probably one of the coolest things a kid could do. So we have three major
parameters for our challenge. We have a height one, a
time one, and a payload. So we have to successfully
deliver two eggs unbroken up to the air and to the ground. It has to be hitting exactly
825 feet and between 48 and 50 seconds. And if you go over or under
any of those parameters, you get points added
which is a negative. Kari Byron: So, were you
successful in delivering the eggs without a crack? Jasmyn Logan: Most
of the time we were. Like a couple times when we
were taking it out, it cracked. But most of the time, after
it launched and came back, the egg was fine. Bill Nye: But then some
clumsy ground crew. (Laughter.) Bill Nye: You got
to work on that. Cristin Dorgelo: That’s right. Bill Nye: But so, you
guys hit 825 feet exactly? Jasmyn Logan: Some of the times. Most of the time we got close
and we hit it a couple times. Sometimes it was too high. Bill Nye: Well, what
made it go too high? Nia’mani Robinson: Well, it
could be there’s not — we need to add more weight to make
it go — if it’s too light, it will go too high. Or if we don’t — if we use a
motor that’s stronger than we need, then it will go too high. Bill Nye: I guess you can’t
control — you can’t vary the motor much, right? You got to pick a motor. Jasmyn Logan: Right. Yes. Bill Nye: The word “motor” we
used to call it explosive. Cristin Dorgelo: Rocket fuel. Kari Byron: Yeah, so you
guys were working with E-class motors, right? Rebecca Chaffin: Yes. Jasmyn Logan: Yes. Kari Byron: So they get more
powerful the lower you get into the alphabet. Rebecca Chaffin: Yeah. Jasmyn Logan: Higher. Kari Byron: The higher. Higher, lower. (Laughter.) It depends on how you
lay out the alphabet. Yeah. Cristin Dorgelo: So,
future career at NASA? SpaceX? What do you guys want
to do with your lives? Jasmyn Logan: Well, I
like the medical field. The engineering part of
the medical field, so — Cristin Dorgelo:
Like medical devices. Jasmyn Logan: Yeah. Rebecca Chaffin: Yeah,
I guess — I’m probably going to biological
engineering, actually. Which doesn’t involve rockets. Kari Byron: Whoa. Bill Nye: Sounds a
lot like the same. Rebecca Chaffin: Maybe like
rocket-propelled prosthetics, but maybe physics, too. Bill Nye: But it’s all
going to be fluid mechanics, Bill predicts. Rebecca Chaffin: Yeah. Yeah. Bill Nye: Know what I mean? Rebecca Chaffin: Yeah,
it can relate. Bill Nye: More of things
that take the shape of their container. You were going to say something? Nia’mani Robinson: I’m not
nearly as decided as them in my career, but I like
science, obviously. I like architecture. I like chemistry. So, you know. Bill Nye: We’ll find our way. We’ll find our way. Kari Byron: I want to know what
got you guys into rockets. Was there a program
you got you into this? Jasmyn Logan: NSBE, the National
Society of Black Engineers, introduced us to TARC and they
actually had multiple programs, but TARC seemed the most
interesting because you know — Bill Nye: TARC’s an acronym. Jasmyn Logan: Yes. Team America Rocketry Challenge. So, that seemed the most
interesting because you get to go out and fly rockets
which is all together fun. Kari Byron: Was there any — did
you have a mentor or anyone who sparked this for you? Jasmyn Logan: We
actually had two mentors. Ms. Camille and Mr. Kevin. And they helped us with
our competition and how to set stuff up and so we
didn’t blow anything up. Rebecca Chaffin: They were a
really great help to us overall. You know, throughout
the competition. We really appreciate
what they did for us. You know, dedicated their time. Cristin Dorgelo: Well, it was
so great to meet you guys. Thank you for coming to the
White House today and I hope you enjoy getting to meet everybody
and especially Bill and Kari. Aren’t they great? (laughter) Rebecca Chaffin: Thanks
so much for having us. Bill Nye: Yeah. And I hope the President
gets to meet you. Rebecca Chaffin: Oh, that
would be (inaudible.) Cristin Dorgelo: All right. So long. Kari Byron: Nice rocket science. Cristin Dorgelo: It is. Bill Nye: It is rocket science. Cristin Dorgelo: Kari, have
you built a rocket before? Kari Byron: I’ve built
lots of rockets before. I host a show for Science
ChAnneel called Large and Dangerous Rocketships and
they have welcomed me into the fold in helping me
build a couple rockets. Cristin Dorgelo: Awesome. I’ve gotten to play
with lunar landers. What about you? Bill Nye: Oh, I’ve built
a lot of rockets — Kari Byron: Okay,
way to trump me. (Laughter.) Bill Nye: I’ve built a lot
of rockets and flown them. Cristin Dorgelo: All right. So, I think we’ve
got our new students. Bill Nye: 10 flights. That’s a good day. Cristin Dorgelo: Parker? Am I right? Is this Parker? Male Speaker: Yeah. Bill Nye: Parker. Greetings. Male Speaker: Hello. Kari Byron: And first. Male Speaker: Yeah. First Robotics. They got me into
most of this stuff. So I’m pretty happy about it. Bill Nye: You did well. Male Speaker: I did — I
didn’t do the competition. I actually won a side
competition called the First Future
Innovators Award. And it was a patentable
invention for use in the real world. So what I did is I made
a prosthetic limb out of a bicycle. A single bicycle. So — Bill Nye: You cut the
bicycle up and put it back together. Male Speaker: Oh, I
cut the bicycle up. Definitely. Cut the bicycle up. Had a torch, hammering
on the ground. Looked ridiculous probably
for three hours there. But — Bill Nye: But the bicycle
is hard to ride now. Male Speaker: Oh, definitely. Doesn’t have any wheels. Bill Nye: Yeah. Yeah. Male Speaker: Unless you have
an amputee and then it would be — I guess you can
call that riding it. Kari Byron: Wait, so you
took apart a bicycle and you made prosthetics? Male Speaker: I made
a prosthetic limb. Kari Byron: Wow. Bill Nye: What does
the prosthetic do? Which limb? Male Speaker: A prosthetic leg. Bill Nye: Oh, leg. Leg. Male Speaker: Yes. BIll Nye: And is it here today? It must be. Male Speaker: It is. It’s right over there where
that display that we barely got into the place. Bill Nye: And so, how did you
apply — what made you want to apply for this particular
award within the first family of (inaudible) —
oh, first family. That’s a hilarious
gag here, yes. Male Speaker: I actually
was told by my mentor that “You need to
enter this thing.” It just sort of happened
by happenstance. I actually made it before I
even knew about this award. A friend of my dad’s came to me. He goes to Honduras every year
and he said “There’s a real problem with amputees there.” And I said “What’s
the problem, Greg?” He said “They have tainted water
and they don’t understand that clear water — it may look
clear and it may look like it’s drinkable, but you got
to put it through a filter. They don’t understand that
part, so they drink it anyway.” And the primary — so
they get infected and the primary treatment
for infection is amputation. And so really they had a massive
number of amputees in Honduras. And so, at that
point, I said “Okay. I got to fix this problem. It needs to be fixed.” I had never been to a
third-world country, but I watch a lot of Netflix. (Laughter.) Male Speaker: And I
watch a lot of documentaries on third-world countries on Netflix
and I noticed a lot of bicycles in the background. I said “Okay, I bet there’s
a lot of bicycle waste.” And after going to Honduras,
there is definitely a lot of bicycle waste. Bill Nye: Beat-up bicycles. They just throw them away. Male Speaker: They
just throw them away. If they don’t know how to fix
them, they throw them away. So, at that point the goal was
can I make a prosthetic limb out of a bicycle. And I said “Yes, I can.” So, three hours later, I
put together this thing. Like I said, I was
hammering on the floor. Looked ridiculous
but it happened. Kari Byron: That’s
not ridiculous. I think that’s cool. Bill Nye: Yeah. Cristin Dorgelo:
That’s persistence. Bill Nye: Well,
that’s what we do. Male Speaker: So,
I finally made it. Entered the competition. I had no idea how many kids
entered this competition. Just said “Hey, I’ll try this.” Patent the thing. I couldn’t patent the
prosthetic because prosthetics and bicycles together, not very patentable. (Laughter.) Male Speaker: But I did
patent the process to make a cycle leg. Kari Byron: Okay, so now you
have a blueprint that you can actually send along so somebody
in a third-world country can take that blueprint and create
a prosthetic for themselves? Male Speaker: Yes. It’s sort of a procedure. Not necessarily a blueprint,
but we’re actually a lot further past that. You know, the cycle leg was
just a barrier of entry for me. That wasn’t the problem. You know, from first glance,
that is the problem. The cost of prosthetics,
the mechanics of it all. But there’s 22 countries in our
nation that makes prosthetic mechanics but nobody
makes the prosthetic boot. So, back there, and I’m
sure you guy won’t be able to come to my booth. We — the problem with the
boot is its $300 in material, but after the processes
and all the skills needed and the tooling, it’s $7,000. Bill Nye: Yeah, it’s a
lot of messing around. Yeah. Male Speaker: Because that’s
the most important part. And so, we developed — me
and my prosthese friend. We developed the first
universal prosthetic boot. Small, medium, and large. They fit 99.9 percent of all the
prosthetic amputee population around the world. So, we’re pretty
happy about that. Knowing that a little over
5 percent of amuputees are in the U.S. alone? The majority of those
are in other nations. Bill Nye: Around the world. Yeah. Well, nicely done. Kari Byron: Make
a real difference. Male Speaker: Thank you. Cristin Dorgelo: Well, Parker. It’s great to meet you. Male Speaker: Yeah, microphone. Cristin Dorgelo: Yeah. I hope you have a great
stay at the White House. You’re out here in the heat,
so stay cool and enjoy the hot D.C. weather. I think we’re going to
meet our next students. Male Speaker: All right. Cristin Dorgelo: Thanks, Parker. Kari Byron: It was
nice to meet you. Male Speaker: Nice
to meet you, too. Cristin Dorgelo: So one of the
things we heard from Parker was how important STEM
mentors were for him, and I think it’s so exciting
that we’re Anneouncing today new commitments associated with
expanding the number of STEM mentors in the country so that
more kids have an adult in their lives who are actually able
to help them with their STEM interests. So, I love hearing those stories
of people who made a difference. Kari Byron: And the mentors
really help them connect the dots and how they
can actually help. Bill Nye: Well, most of
all, it saves a lot of time. You know, I tried that. Don’t — Kari Byron: Right, right. Cristin Dorgelo: It don’t
hurt to keep those mistakes in the past. Bill Nye: What you might
want to do — yeah. Just a huge — because when —
you get discouraged when you make a mistake somebody
else has already made, and so this — that’s what
you have a mentor for. Kari Byron: Right. Cristin Dorgelo: Yeah. Let’s get more of them. Bill Nye: Yes. Cristin Dorgelo: All right. Let’s meet our next student. Bill Nye: Greetings. Greetings. Kari Byron: Hello. Cristin Dorgelo: Welcome. Here you go. Female Speaker: Hello. Cristin Dorgelo:
You can take this. Bill Nye: All three of us. Female Speaker: Oh wow. Okay. Kari Byron: What’s your name? Anne Merrill: I am Anne Merrill. Kari Byron: And
what’s your project? Anne Merrill: I was using
this thing called biochar. Cristin Dorgelo:
Can I check it out? Anne Merrill: Yeah, sure. Bill Nye: We love biochar. Anne Merrill: Oh, good. You know what it is. That’s awesome. Bill Nye: Well, sure. Yeah. I mean, after a fashion. Anne Merrill: Yeah. And earthworms to suppress
soil-born pathogens. Bill Nye: So, give me a
pathogen that you suppressed. Anne Merrill: I — the main
one I used was a fungus called Bizari moxispora. Kari Byron: What? Bill Nye: See how she nods
her head like you know. Anne Merrill: It causes vascular
wilts in tomato plants. So, it’s really nasty. Bill Nye: Kills
the tomato plant. Anne Merrill: Yeah. Bill Nye: The stem
loses its rigidity. Anne Merrill: The vascular
system is kind of like the circulatory system in humans. Bill Nye: Yeah. Anne Merrill: So,
without your blood, you’re not doing so
great and (inaudible.) Bill Nye: One thing you
want in a tomato is to have water inside. Kari Byron: Definitely. Anne Merrill: Exactly. Yeah. It’s pretty nice. Important. Bill Nye: So, how did
you make your biochar? Anne Merrill: I actually got it
from a few different places. I used one
naturally-produced biochar. I’m from Connecticut and it
was from a forest fire — Bill Nye: No, I made that up. (Laughter.) Anne Merrill: — in the 1970s. Bill Nye: Oh, I see. Oh, you went into the
forest where there had been a forest fire. Cristin Dorgelo: And harvested. Bill Nye: Harvested
some biochar. Anne Merrill: I got it from
someone who had already collected it, but yeah. And then another — Bill Nye: So — hang on. Just let me get —
it’s charcoal, right? Anne Merrill: It’s a
charcoal-like material. Yeah. Bill Nye: Yeah. So, you cook it where it doesn’t
get enough oxygen so it’s — pushes all the water out. Is that right? Or a lot of the water. Anne Merrill: Yeah. Really high temperatures. Low oxygen. Bill Nye: Low oxygen. Anne Merrill: Yeah. Bill Nye: Because there’s got
to be some for combustion. Anne Merrill: Yeah, but it’s
not like a burning process. Bill Nye: Yeah. So, you harvested some. Did you make your own? Anne Merrill: I didn’t. I’m working on that right
now as a side project, but one of the biochars I
used was a bunch of students at Yale who made biochar
in their garage. Kari Byron: Whoa, whoa, whoa. What? They were making it
intentionally to be biochar or? Anne Merrill: Yeah. Yeah. (Laughter.) Anne Merrill: I don’t know. Kari Byron: Setting a
couch on fire and pushing it out in the street. Anne Merrill: College,
right You never really know. But biochar — yeah. It’s any kind of
organic material, so I think they just took a
bunch of plants and burned it. I don’t know. Bill Nye: Burned it in
the right conditions. Anne Merrill: Yeah. Hopefully. (Laughter.) Bill Nye: So, what
happened when you used — you mixed the biochar
with the soil, I take it? Anne Merrill: I left the —
I put it on the top of soil and I had the earthworms
integrate it. Bill Nye: The word
“integrate” means? Anne Merrill: Bioturbate. Like, mix it together. Bill Nye: They did
their earthworm thing. Anne Merrill: They did
their earthworm thing. Yeah. Bill Nye: Yeah. Chewing their way through dirt. Eating dirt. They took biochar
down with them. And then their castings, which
is a nice word for the tailpipe. Cristin Dorgelo: What comes
out the backend of the worm. (Laughter.) Bill Nye: Yes. Yes. Did something to
help the plants. How did you — did you
have plants growing with and without like control — Anne Merrill: Yeah. I had a bunch of controls. I used the different types of
biochar for that part of the experiment and then — Bill Nye: Which one was best? Anne Merrill: Well, it
varied a little bit. The Connecticut charcoal,
which is this one, was really successful. Bill Nye: That’s
from the forest fire. Anne Merrill: But the — yes. Bill Nye: What about the — Anne Merrill: Best energies. Bill Nye: I’m looking for a
word for college students who may not — how did the
college student one do? The Yale student biochar. Anne Merrill: Oh, it didn’t even
make it into the first round. Cristin Dorgelo: Oh no. Anne Merrill: I know. It was rough. I started with seven biochars
and I narrowed it down to three based on what the earthworms
were responding to. Kari Byron: How did you
come up with this idea? Bill Nye: Yeah. I was going to say. Anne Merrill: It was
kind of a long process. I had done some plant
projects in the past. And I wanted to branch out
a little bit and I thought earthworms would be fun. And then I was reading about
types of soil amendments and I came across biochar. Bill Nye: Where do you
go to read about it? Online or do you go
to gardening stores? Anne Merrill: I actually
went to a few gardens. Yeah. And asked around. A lot of internet. I’m a fan of the internet. Bill Nye: Oh, really? Kari Byron: Who isn’t? Bill Nye: Kids with the
electric computer machines. Anne Merrill: Yeah. That technology thing. It’s fun. So, a lot of — there’s not —
since the time when I started the project, the biochar
industry has expanded a lot.. But when I first started, there
wasn’t a lot about biochar, so it was all — Bill Nye: When did you start? A year ago? Two years ago. Anne Merrill: Two years ago. Bill Nye: Two years ago. Anne Merrill: I
did it in my — Bill Nye: So, it’s
growing that fast? Anne Merrill: Yeah,
it’s taking off. Bill Nye: Or burning that fast. Anne Merrill: It’s
really exciting. Kari Byron: Is this a
field you want to go into? Anne Merrill: Definitely. Yeah. I’m going to Cornell
next year to study — Bill Nye: Yes, Yes. Kari Byron: Congratulations. Anne Merrill: Yeah. I’m excited. Bill Nye: Go Big Red. Anne Merrill: Highfive. Why not. Bill Nye: Go Big Red. Anne Merrill: Yeah. Bill Nye: So you’re going
to go to the AG school? Agriculture School. Anne Merrill: I’m actually
— arts and sciences. Bill Nye: Arts and science. Great. Anne Merrill: But I’m hoping to
study environmental science. There’s a lot of really cool
biochar research going on there. Bill Nye: Yeah. Cristin Dorgelo: Well,
it was great to meet you. Kari Byron: Good
luck at Cornell. Anne Merrill: Thank you so much. Bill Nye: Don’t forget
your char of bio. Anne Merrill: Oh, thank you. That would be — Bill Nye: Thank you. Well, you’d get it back. To save time. Anne Merrill: Thank you. It was lovely to meet you. Kari Byron: Nice to meet you. Anne Merrill: Your microphone. Bill Nye: Carry on. Thank you. Cristin Dorgelo: You did a good
job balancing the microphone with the biochar. That’s a tough juggling act. So, we’re going to be also
talking today about a new $35 million Department
of Education commitment that is going to expand
opportunities in STEM and training for STEM educators. So, we’re going to get more
great science and technology teachers into the classrooms. We’re excited about that. Kari Byron: That’s fantastic. Cristin Dorgelo: I know. And so I think we’re going
to hear from these kids who are waiting. Bill Nye: Before we do
that, I just want to know. Cristin Dorgelo: Yeah. Bill Nye: Why do you think it’s
a good use — $35 million? Cristin Dorgelo: Yeah — Bill Nye: Doesn’t go
as far as it used to. Cristin Dorgelo: You know
that the President — Bill Nye: But why are we
spending $35 million? Cristin Dorgelo: This
is a great question. So, the President has set a
100,000 goal for 100,000 STEM teachers to be added to
classrooms in the next 10 years. We really have a shortage
of all the teachers we need who are excellent at teaching
science and technology. And so this investment is going
to go into creating and helping teachers who want to be
better in how they teach science and technology. Bill Nye: So why is it important
to have science education? Science and math education. Cristin Dorgelo: Well, you
know, our commitment — Bill Nye: This is all my
idea to make her do this. Cristin Dorgelo: Well, Bill. I think you agree that science
and technology education is so important so that our students
and youth are prepared for the jobs and industries of the
future and America can grow in terms of how we create
jobs, jobs, and jobs. Bill Nye: Yes. Cristin Dorgelo: I think
I’m quoting you from last year, Bill. Bill Nye: Well, I
think you might be. (Laughter.) Bill Nye: It’s just — my claim
is that science education is what allows us to innovate
and innovation is what — that’s what the United
States exports now. Cristin Dorgelo: Absolutely. Bill Nye: New ideas. Cristin Dorgelo: And
problem-solving. Bill Nye: Well, problem-solving. Yes. Engineering is using science to
solve problems and make things. And so, through science
and engineering education, we will innovate and continue
to lead the world in new ideas and doing more with less
and change the world for the betterment of humankind. Hello. Cristin Dorgelo: Bill’s right. Hello. Bill Nye: Who are you? Cristin Dorgelo: Who are you? Kavita Selva: I am Kavita
Selva from Houston, Texas. Bill Nye: Here. Hold that. Cristin Dorgelo: Bill
and I will share. Bill Nye: We’ll share. (Laughter.) Cristin Dorgelo:
Here you go. Kari Byron: So, what
was your project? Kavita Selva: So,
here’s some background. So, rare earth materials make
up permanent magnnets and these permanent magnets make up things
such as winter biogenerators — Bill Nye: Name me a rare earth. Kavita Selva: Neodimium. Bill Nye: Neodimium. Kavita Selva: Yeah. And so these rare earth
materials make up permanent magnets and these permanent
magnets make up things such as winter biogenerators and
motors in electric cars. And recently there has been a
problem with the availability of these rare earth materials. We’re just driving the
prices skyrocketing, right? It’s insane. Bill Nye: Probably because
they have to come out mines. Kavita Selva: Yeah. And there’s not a lot — Bill Nye: And these mines — they’re rare. Hence the expression. Kavita Selva: So — (laughter) Bill Nye: No, I’m not kidding. Kavita Selva: So, yeah. So then you’ll — actually,
it’s like 98 percent of these rare earths are found in China. And they recently
restricted their exports, so that’s why the
availability is so low. Bill Nye: Exerting
their economic muscle. Kari Byron: Yeah. Kavita Selva: So, now there’s
like a world-wide incentive to develop new kinds of
magnets that don’t use as much rare earth amounts. Kari Byron: So, this
is what you’ve done? Kavita Selva: Yeah. So, I basically used
these things called super-conductor tapes
and these tapes contain a very small amount of
rare earth in them. And when they are penetrated by
a magnetic field and kept at a cool temperature, nanoscale
defects inside the tape will actually trap the magnetic
field inside the tape and make the tape act as a
magnet at that cold temperature. So — Bill Nye: So, what does it? Liquid nitrogen
kind of temperature? Kavita Selva: Yeah. Yeah. And so these tapes,
I was thinking “Well, since these tapes contain such
a small amount of rare earth in them, if we can use them
to trap high and uniform magnetic fields, we can
definitely use them to replace the permanent magnets in these
clean energy applications. Bill Nye: So, you
have liquid nitrogen. This crazy tape. Where do I get the tape? Kavita Selva: So,
there — I got mine — Bill Nye: Tape Co.? Kavita Selva: Well, I
live in Houston, Texas so I got mine from
the University of Houston. But right now — Bill Nye: Did they know? Well, they’re going to know now. (Laughter.) Kavita Selva: Well — Kari Byron: Is that something
you can get easily? Kavita Selva: Yeah, they’re
— you can’t buy them. I don’t think so. Bill Nye: Not yet. Kavita Selva: Not yet. Not yet. Bill Nye: So, do you wrap the
tape around some ferrous — some iron-bearing
thing or something? Kavita Selva: Well — Bill Nye: Go ahead, go ahead. Kavita Selva: I basically
— I had these tapes and I just like — I cut them. I wish I could show
you, but I cut them — Bill Nye: Well, we’ll look at them later. Kavita Selva: I cut them into — Bill Nye: Go online, everybody. And check out the super —
are they super-conducting? Kavita Selva: Yeah. Yeah. Bill Nye: Yeah. Go ahead. Kavita Selva: So I cut them into
35 milimeter segments and I basically packed
them three by three in a criss-cross arrangement
into a little sample of it. And I basically — that’s how
I have my (inaudible) magnet. Bill Nye: So,
you’re into physics? Kavita Selva: Yeah. Bill Nye: And you worked
out the best angle to put these things to — Kavita Selva: So, I
basically had two different configurations. I had a criss-cross arrangement
which was three vertical, three horizontal. Three vertical,
three horizontal. And then I had a straight
arrangement which was just three vertical, three
vertical, three vertical. So — and later I found out that
the criss-cross arrangement traps the most uniform
magnetic field, so it would probably be
better to use than the present applications. Kari Byron: Did you have
anyone who was a mentor for you who inspired
this project? Kavita Selva: Yeah. Yeah. So, I had three mentors. I had Dr. Grama Mattjik
and Dr. Shaw Benleaf from the University of Houston. Basically taught me how to
use equipment in the lab. Don’t break anything. Don’t freeze off my hand
with liquid nitrogen. (Laughter.) Kavita Selva: And
then — yeah. And then I also had another
mentor named Dr. Masson, Professor Masson. And he basically — later I
did, this year I did an experiment on simulation. I’m simulating
the trapped field. And so he taught me how
to use the software. Bill Nye: Oh, there’s software. Yeah. So you have appliance of force
and all these wonderful things. Kari Byron: Have you always
been into magnets or how did you come onto this project? Kavita Selva: Yeah. So, basically I learned about
super conductors through MRIs. They use a low-temperature super
conductor in the MRIs, right? And I later learned that we can
actually trap magnetic fields in these things and they contain a
very small amount of rare earth. And I was reading a National
Geographic article one day about how we are in need of new types
of magnets that don’t use up much rare earth in them and I
just put two and two together. Kari Byron: That
was your “ah-ha!” moment right there. That’s great. Cristin Dorgelo: All right. Well, it’s so good to meet you. Bill Nye: It’s great
to meet you because — Cristin Dorgelo: We’ve got a
couple more students coming up. Bill Nye: What your
working on is, to me, the key to the future. It’s not to do less, it’s
to do more with less. So, great job. Is that Bo? Bo’s working. Below the frame of
camera, the dog — Cristin Dorgelo: Congratulations. Yes. Kari Byron: Nice to meet you. Bill Nye: Carry on. Nicely done. Cristin Dorgelo: All right. Bill Nye: Physics rules. Cristin Dorgelo: We’re going
to meet a few more guests. Bill Nye: Oh, here we go. Kari Byron: Hi. Cristin Dorgelo: Bo, the
Presidential dog just walked by. We’re going to say hello. Bill Nye: Can you two change
places so you go tall to — yeah. Thank you. Cristin Dorgelo: And come
on forward a little bit. Bill Nye: Yeah. Yeah. She bites. Kari Byron: I do. Bill Nye: I don’t bite. Cristin Dorgelo: So,
tell us your names. Kari Byron: Kids all scared now. What are you doing? Cristin Dorgelo:
What’s your name? Male Speaker: Neil. Cristin Dorgelo: Neil. Female Speaker: Ciara. Cristin Dorgelo: Ciara. Female Speaker: Elora. Cristin Dorgelo: Hi. Welcome, guys. Bill Nye: What is your project? Female Speaker: It
was the (inaudible). It is a panel of motion sensors
that is designed to fit under the backseat of the
car, under the cushion. Bill Nye: Under the cushion
in the backseat of the car. And what does this do for us? Female Speaker: It helps us for
— it helps us for the children not to die in the
hot cars because — Bill Nye: Oh, in hot cars. Kari Byron: Here, could you
turn around so the camera can see you? Your mom’s going to
want to see you on TV. Bill Nye: And you look fabulous. Cristin Dorgelo:
Come on forward. Kari Byron: You can
come a little closer. Bill Nye: You guys
all look so nice. Cristin Dorgelo: What
happens in the hot, hot car? Bill Nye: Hot car. Kids in the back o the hot car. Female Speaker: So, when the
panels under the backseat of the car and it detects weight and
motion and the car reaches 100 degrees, it will
like sound an alarm. The windows will — Bill Nye: Open? Female Speaker: — roll
down, the lights will flash, and it will contact
the EMS and police. Cristin Dorgelo:
That is amazing. Bill Nye: How did you come
up with this idea, guys? Female Speaker: Well, me and
Ciara had an inspiration. My inspiration was that
one day when I was going to the Oklahoma State
Capital, I saw a dog left in a hot car and it
made me really sad. So I wanted to do
something about it. Female Speaker: And I just saw
like a news story and it was about a human dying in a hot
car because the hot car was locked from the inside and
it was getting really hot. And I thought I had to
do something about it. Kari Byron: So, this can
help the lives of children and of animals? Male Speaker: Well, we have
some statistics about it. And we have pretty
much (inaudible). Since 1998, there
have been 603 deaths. Bill Nye: 603 deaths? That’s a lot. In a hot car. Cristin Dorgelo:
In hot cars, huh? Male Speaker: Yes. In 73 percent of those
deaths were children under the age of two. Bill Nye: Oh, man. That’s miserable. Cristin Dorgelo: It’s so good
that you guys worked on this project to help prevent that. Bill Nye: So, by the way,
how old are you guys? Do you know? Female Speaker:
Eight and seven. Cristin Dorgelo:
Eight and seven. Female Speaker: He’s seven. She’s eight. And I’m eight. Cristin Dorgelo: What do you
want to be when you grow up? Female Speaker:: High
school physics teacher. Kari Byron: Yay. Cristin Dorgelo:
Highfive for that. High school physics teacher. Female Speaker: A scientist. Cristin Dorgelo: A scientist. Do you know what kind? Female Speaker: In
how the body moves. Cristin Dorgelo: In
how the body moves. Female Speaker:
The brain and stuff. Cristin Dorgelo:
That’s very cool. Male Speaker: MD Ph.D. or a scientist. Bill Nye: I think
you could be both. Cristin Dorgelo: Big goals. So, what are you
excited most for being at the White House today? Female Speaker:
Meeting the President. Cristin Dorgelo:
That’s a good thing. Bill Nye: I hope he
gets to meet you. Female Speaker:
Sharing our idea. Cristin Dorgelo: Yeah. What about you? Male Speaker: Sharing our idea. Cristin Dorgelo: You
guys are amazing. Bill Nye: Sharing our ideas. Come on. That’s idea. Cristin Dorgelo: Sharing ideas
and meeting the President. This is a big day for you guys. Kari Byron: You’re
doing this at seven. I can’t wait to see
what you’re doing at 17. Bill Nye: Yeah, I know. Yeah. Cristin Dorgelo:
They’ll be back here. I have no doubt. Kari Byron: They will. Cristin Dorgelo: All right. Well, it was great to meet you. Have fun today at the
White House, okay? Bill Nye: Carry on, you guys. Bill Nye: Find a need.
Cristin Dorgelo: All right. Solve the problem. Done. Hi. Cristin Dorgelo: Hello. Bill Nye: Bill. Cristin Dorgelo: I’m Cristin. Aaron Baron: Aaron Baron. Cristin Dorgelo:
You can take that. Aaron Baron: Okay. Bill Nye: But she’s going
to want it back later. Kari Byron: Hi,
nice to meet you. Hi. Bill Nye: I mean, it’s
just an expression. Female Speaker: Crystal. Nice to meet you. Kari Byron: Kari. Bill Nye: So, here. Let’s rotate around. Look at the camera. So, welcome to the White
House Science Fair, gang. What did you — what’s your
— what brought you here? Female Speaker: Okay, well. We’re actually the 2013
National Winners for Seeing As We Change the
World Challenge. And so our project is focused on
alternative energy and trying to find a cost-effective yet
sustainable semi-conductive material to increase the
efficiency of solar cells. Kari Byron: Did you? Aaron Baron: Yes. Female Speaker: We did. Aaron Baron: Yes. I actually go into that. So, what we’re trying to use
are quantum knots that are miniscule
nanocrystal materials. And so — Bill Nye: What are
they made of? Aaron Baron: They’re actually
made of cadmium and selenite and that’s actually a big
issue and the fact that they have such carciginic
effects on the environment. We’re trying to find a suitable
replacement that’s not only sustainable but also cheap. Bill Nye: Cadmium’s the
yellow metal I see coating some bolts and screws? Aaron Baron: Yes. Yeah. Bill Nye: Yeah. Aaron Baron: And so, what we
were trying to do is actually look at carbium sulfite and
carbium selenite replacements for the nanoparticle
treatment of them. And so we actually,
this is a continuation of a research project. And so actually we determined
that by altering the heat synthesis of these nanoparticles
in conjunction with other materials such as titanium
dioxide nanoparticles can actually increase
the efficiency. Bill Nye: So, titanium
dioxide is really white. Female Speaker: Right. Bill Nye: Where it really
— just super reflective material, right? Aaron Baron: Yes. Female Speaker: Right. Bill Nye: So, you’re
mixing that in somehow? Aaron Baron: Yes, we’re actually
able to apply those with the carbinium sulfide. Bill Nye: So it becomes more
efficient or less inefficient or something? Female Speaker: Yes, they are. Aaron Baron: Yes. It actually does. And so, we actually were able
to determine that they actually have a 48 percent
efficiency level. Bill Nye: 48 percent? Aaron Baron: Yes. Of (inaudible). Bill Nye: What was it before? Aaron Baron: Well, most
average solar panels are 15 percent efficient. Bill Nye: Yeah, I have a
watch that’s solar-powered. It’s barely 10 percent. (Laughter.) Bill Nye: No, but
I’m not kidding. That’s enough for a watch. Right? But you got almost
five times that? Female Speaker: Yes, sir. Bill Nye: Wow. Kari Byron: Have you had
interest from corporations to apply this? Bill Nye: You should get
some award or something. Female Speaker: Well, it’s
definitely something that’s interesting entering into
the corporate field because, you know, quantum dods and solar
cells is something that’s really new into our environment because
we’re trying to veer away from the fossil fuels. So, being that these solar
cells had a low efficiency, they can’t be used on quite a
large-scale basis and being that they’re very expensive, it’s
something that’s really big into the research field. So, hopefully with our research
and more research that’s going on, we can take the next
step into getting more into alternative energy. Bill Nye: So, are you
guys in high school? Female Speaker: We
actually just graduated. Kari Byron: Congratulations. Female Speaker: Thank you. Bill Nye: So what
do you — right on. So, what are you
guys going to do now? Kari Byron: Where are you going? Aaron Baron: Okay. Well, in the fall I’ll be
attending Stanford University and studying biomechanical — Cristin Dorgelo: California. Aaron Baron: Yeah. Right. Cristin Dorgelo: Me, too. Aaron Baron: Awesome. Nice. Bill Nye: You’re going
to Stanford next year? Cristin Dorgelo: No, California. Bill Nye: Oh, I get it. (Laughter.) Kari Byron: Welcome to our hood. Female Speaker: And I’ll be
attending Thurman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Bill Nye: Oh, great. Female Speaker: And
I’m studying biology. Thank you. Bill Nye: That’s great. Cristin Dorgelo: It was
great to meet you guys. Female Speaker: Thank you. It was nice talking to you. Bill Nye: That’s
fantastic, you guys. This is really cool. I’m going to come
see your display. Female Speaker: Thank you. Cristin Dorgelo: Enjoy your
time at the White House. Bill Nye: Congratulations. Thanks so much for coming. Female Speaker:
Nice to meet you. Cristin Dorgelo:
Great to meet you. We’re all just going
to shake and trip. It’s going to be great. We’re having fun here at the
Fourth White House Science Fair. We’re celebrating new
commitments to getting more kids into science,
technology, engineering, and math on this gorgeous day
and we’ve got one more set of students to meet today. All right. Welcome. Kari Byron: Hi, guys. Bill Nye: My name’s Bill. Male Speaker: Saul. Bill Nye: Saul. Male Speaker: Hi. Nice to meet you guys. Male Speaker: Kevin. Bill Nye: Say again? Male Speaker: Kevin. Bill Nye: Kevin. Kari Byron: Nice to meet you. Cristin Dorgelo: My pleasure. Male Speaker: Hi. Hi. Bill Nye: So, what
brought you here? What a coincidence? Male Speaker: Yeah. So, we’re displaying our solar
panel station which is basically — we created it because we took
a robotics last year and then we had to create a project that’s
pretty much anything we wanted and so we were going to
power a go cart from scratch. We were going to make it from
scratch and make it work. Turns out — Bill Nye: So hold this
up a little closer. Male Speaker: Yeah. Okay. So, it turns out we were working
on it — throughout the whole year, you know. We were hardly working — Bill Nye: Is this an
electric go cart? Male Speaker: Yeah, yeah. We were going to make it — Bill Nye: Solar-powered
electric go cart? Male Speaker: Yes. Yes. And so, like when we — Bill Nye: How cool is that? Kari Byron: I know. Male Speaker: Like a week
before the competition, they stole the go
cart from the school. Kari Byron: Wait, what? Bill Nye: Somebody
stole the go cart? Male Speaker: Somebody
stole it from the school. And then we were like “Oh my
god, what are we going to do?” Bill Nye: Somebody
stole the go cart? Cristin Dorgelo:
That’s horrible. Male Speaker: Yeah. Bill Nye: I mean, it’s not
like — it’s something you’re going to notice. You know? Oh, this? Oh, what. Kari Byron: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Made it myself. Cristin Dorgelo:
What did you do? Male Speaker: So then our — we
knew — we talked to a bunch of people and so our
soccer coach donated like the electric scooter that
we have and so we just worked with that. You know, the solar panel
station was already created so it was just a matter of
wiring everything together. Bill Nye: So, are there
batteries on board? Is that what’s going on? Male Speaker: Yes. Kevin: So, basically,
at the moment, we have it connected
in parallel. Basically each solar panel
has 12 volts but together they’re generating 12 together. But if they were in series, they
would generate 24 with less current and at the moment
we’re just charging like the batteries from the scooter. Like, one at a time. And also you can
charge your phone, your laptop with the inverter
we have connected in which — Bill Nye: So, you guys
designed the inverter? Kevin: We just cooked it up. Yeah. Bill Nye: Well,
you figured it out. Yeah. You engineered it. Male Speaker: Yeah. Kari Byron: So, are you getting
around town on the go cart or just playing? Scooting around? Kevin: Yeah, we’re just going to
scoot around the White House. You know? (Laughter.) Male Speaker: Well, now we
have a scooter not a go cart. Kari Byron: Burn wheels
into the White House lawn. Male Speaker: Yeah, yeah. Male Speaker: Yeah. We get Obama riding. (Laughter.) Bill Nye: He likes
that kind of thing. So, how did you get interested
in a solar-powered go cart? Just what’s a — go. Let’s go. Male Speaker: Well, we’re into
kind of like cars so then we were like okay. Bill Nye: Kinda like cars. Male Speaker: Kinda like cars. Bill Nye: Kinda gear heads. Gear heads. Male Speaker: And so we
were like “Oh, you know, let’s create something
that we can move around. You know, maybe not
take the bus to school.” Bill Nye: No, no. I got you. Cristin Dorgelo: Yeah. You know there’s an
electric car upstairs — Male Speaker: Oh yeah. Oh really? Cristin Dorgelo: — that was
built by a student team. You should check it out. It’s really cool. Male Speaker: Okay. We’ll check it out. Okay. Kari Byron: I see your next
step being the jetpack. (Laughter.) Kari Byron: Clearly. Male Speaker: Oh, yeah. Bill Nye: No, that’s
a much — excuse me. That’s a much harder problem. The jetpack. So, what are you
going to do next? Male Speaker: So, well. We’re going to go to college
next and we actually want to pursue something in
the medical field. I want to study something
with kinestheseology, physical therapist. And he wants to
become like a — Male Speaker: Either
a pediatrician or a general surgeon. Bill Nye: He’s going
to go to med school. He’s going to go to med school. Of course he is. Cristin Dorgelo:
Awesome, you guys. Well, thank you for being here. Bill Nye: Thanks
so much, you guys. Congratulations. Cristin Dorgelo: I can’t wait
to go check out this scooter. Kari Byron: Yeah, I’m
excited to see this. Bill Nye: Yeah, I’m going
to check out this gizmo. Yeah. Great to see you all. Male Speaker: Thank you. Cristin Dorgelo: So, this
has been really impressive. I don’t know about you
guys, but in high school, I didn’t achieve what these
students have achieved and I’m so proud to have
them here today. Kari Byron: The level of
sophistication coming from anywhere from seven to
17 is so impressive. Cristin Dorgelo: Yeah. It really is, and so I want
to thank you, Kari and Bill, for being here for today’s
live webcast Bill Nye: Oh no. Let us thank you. Oh no. Cristin Dorgelo: For those
of you watching along, I hope you continue watching
our broadcast today. You’re going to get to see
amazing science projects from upstairs in the
White House. President Obama will be checking
out more student teams. We’re also going to have
two robots on stage with the President today. These are robots able to
catapult large balls nine feet in the air. Kari Byron: Yeah. Cristin Dorgelo: I don’t know if
they’ll do that on stage today, but we know they can. So, thank you for joining the
White House Science Fair parade desk here today. We’re happy to do it. And follow along on Twitter
using hashtag #WhiteHouse. #WHScienceFair. #WHScienceFair on Twitter today. Thank you for following along. Kari Byron: Bye, guys. Thanks for watching. Bill Nye: Au revoir. Cristin Dorgelo: Happy
Science Fair Day.

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