Students present project at White House Science Fair

Zoe Dutton

Jonathan Berman ’17 and Arjun Mahajan ’16 presented their project “Innovation in Autism” at the White House Science Fair today in Washington, D.C.

They designed a motion-detecting bracelet that senses repetitive movements, like rocking back and forth, and gently vibrates to encourage the child to stop.

Berman and Mahajan also worked with Polytechnic student Maya Flannery on the project.

“In my opinion it’s the Holy Grail of science fairs,” Berman said in in an interview with NPR. “”Being able to talk to the president about your science is the highest achievement you can get.”

Students gain entrance to the fair by first placing in other STEM competitions. Berman and Mahajan’s project was a finalist in the Google Science Fair and earned first place in eCybermission, a web-based STEM competition sponsored by the US Army.

“If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House,” President Obama said in his opening remarks at the fair. “Well, if you’re a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.”

This year’s fair featured over 100 students from more than 30 states, representing more than 40 different STEM competitions and organizations.