On March 29, 2011, 191 students showcased their projects under the big blue whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History at the NYCSEF Finals Event. In addition to welcome remarks by NYC Schools Chancellor Cathie Black, students were treated to an inspiring keynote address by Dr. Maribel Vazquez, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at CCNY. But, the highlight of the day was a surprise visit from President Barack Obama and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In a short impromptu speech to the crowd of student participants, President Obama stated, “I’ve been traveling around the country talking about how America can win the future… Whenever I get a chance to go to a science fair, I go. I want you to know that you are the key to our success. You’re going to be able to find a job because there’s going to be a great advantage for the skills you’re learning. So you should all be extraordinarily proud of the work you’re doing.” After conversing with 8 students, President Obama took time to shake hands with many in the crowd before leaving the event. A few days later, Haoxuan Wang, a senior at the Bronx High School of Science wrote on to the White House Blog, “My friends and I all felt our efforts have been rewarded, and we are inspired to keep working hard and stay focused on our goals.”
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