In this Oct. 7, 2009, file photo NASA personnel set-up models representing the solar system and other astronomy equipment on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington in preparation for the night's event with President Barack Obama and the first lady, joined by local area middle school students using telescopes to star gaze. The White House Lawn had: 20 telescopes, an inflatable dome with a three-dimensional tour of the universe, moon rocks, a couple of astronauts, several astronomers and even two science teachers dressed as Isaac Newton and Galileo.
In this Oct. 7, 2009, file photo President Barack Obama looks through a telescope during an event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington with local area middle school students to star glaze. Obama's interest in science wasn't apparent until he reached the White House. Now, privately he is known to relish the ability to call on smart people, especially scientists, to come to the White House to talk about their fields.
In this Oct. 23, 2009, file photo President Barack Obama tours a research laboratory with professor Alex Slocum at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. "We're going to show young people how cool science can be," the president said on Nov. 23, 2009, and announced that the White House would hold an annual science fair as part of a $260 million private push to improve math and science education.