"I just had a chance to see some of the outstanding exhibits that have been put forward by some of these amazing young people. And let me just start by saying, in my official capacity as president: This stuff is really cool," Obama said to laughter. "And I want to thank these incredible young people for explaining to me what the heck is going on. ...
"Of course, primarily we're here to celebrate these young scientists and visionaries who dream, and create and innovate; who ask the question, why not? Why not try something better? Something that's faster; something that helps more people. And that drive, that refusal to give up, that focus on the future is part of what makes America great. And all of you are participants in this long line of inventors and creators that have made this the most dynamic economy and the most dynamic country on Earth."
Thirty student teams exhibited projects, including an inexpensive press that can recycle garbage like banana peels into briquettes as an alternative to using wood for fuel and an algae production project to produce new types of algae to produce oil for cheaper biofuels.
Obama also announced STEM AmeriCorps to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]
Crash-test dummies gain weight to save lives