By Gautham Nagesh - 03/29/11 08:58 PM EDT
President Obama stopped by the New York City Science and Engineering Fair at the American Museum of National History on Tuesday to tell participating students they are crucial to the nation's economic future.
"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," Obama said according to pool reports.
"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."
Among the projects the president stopped to check out is a bamboo bike built by a Bronx High School of Science senior who has ridden the device to school for the past two years.
"What, they wouldn't let you bring an actual bike?" Obama joked.
Over 1,000 students participate in the fair every yea, with the top 15-20 becoming eligible to compete for over $4,000,000 in scholarships and awards in Los Angeles.