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Obama announces $80 million education plan at White House Science Fair

"It's young people like you that make me so confident that America's best days are still to come," Obama said Tuesday to a room of students, teachers and officials. "That's why when I took office I called for an all-hands-on-deck approach to science, math, technology and engineering. Let's train more teachers, let's get more kids studying these subjects, let's makes sure these fields get the respect and attention they deserve."

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After perusing the science projects of more than 100 students from across the county, Obama outlined an $80 million request to Congress — part of his budget proposal set to be released next week — that would establish an Education Department-sponsored math and science competition that would support teacher preparation. The president attempted a similar plan in last year's budget, but the measure was struck down.

}Projects featured at the White House Science Fair weren't the average science fair entries. One student built a robot equipped with a camera and screen to help senior citizens communicate with family members, while another young lady invented sugar packets that dissolve in water, saving the planet millions of pounds in trash each year. She already has a $10,000 offer from MasterCard to get her idea off the ground.

"As I was walking around the science fair I was thinking back to when I was your age, and basically you guys put me to shame," the president said.

Obama also went on to mention the work of the private sector, highlighting a $22 million investment by companies like Google and the Carnegie Corporation in math and science programs.