President Obama hosted a group of students at the White House last night for an event aimed at stirring their interest in science, and more specifically, astronomy. Telescopes were set up on the White House lawn (I'm assuming they were sufficiently high powered to cut through Washington's light pollution) and real-life astronauts (Buzz Aldrin, Sally Ride) were on hand. In remarks at the event, the president plugged some of his administration's math and science initiatives—specifically talking up the Race to the Top's potential impact on curriculum and instruction. But mostly, Obama seemed intent on describing science as both important and cool:
"Galileo changed the world when he pointed his telescope to the sky, and now it's your turn," Obama told the students. "We need you to study, do well in school, explore everything from the infinite reaches of space to the microscopic smallness of the atom. We need you to think bigger and to dig deeper and to reach higher. And we need your restless curiosity and your boundless hope and imagination. Our future depends on it.
"So, don't let anybody tell you that there isn't more to discover. Don't let anybody tell you that there's knowledge that's beyond your reach. There's something out there for each and every one of you to discover."
Photo by Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images.