WASHINGTON, March 23 (UPI) -- A group of science-loving Girl Scouts called the Supergirls dominated Monday's White House Science Fair -- and captured the president's heart -- showing off their Lego-block robot programmed to turn the pages of books for disabled people.
The fifth annual White House Science Fair featured three dozen exhibits, comprising the efforts of more than 100 students from 30 different states. Several projects featured robots, one of which was able to throw and catch balls.
"The robots I see keep getting smarter every year," Obama told reporters. "We are keeping an eye on that, by the way. You're on notice, Skynet."
One participant, a teen girl from Arizona, shared an algorithm she designed to help identify new potential Ebola drugs. Another high school student, a young man from New York with congenital scoliosis, presented a self-designed medical device -- a spinal implant that expands over time.
As the New York Times reported, the president was both charmed and impressed by the young scientists.
Obama warmly recalled how one of the Supergirls reminded him their robot was only a "prototype."
"Have you ever had a brainstorming session yourself?" another participant asked Obama. After laughing, the president replied: "health care."
The event is an effort by the White House to showcase the government's commitment to STEM education programming. In addition to showcasing America's budding scientific talent, it gave the White House the chance to announce some $240 million in new STEM funding, including a $150 million philanthropic effort and a $90 million program geared toward underserved youth.