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Land O'Lakes High ninth-grader among president's Kid Science Advisors

Land O’Lakes High freshman Logan Beatty visited the White House as one of President Barack Obama’s Kid Science Advisors in October. Beatty, pictured to the right of President Obama, poses with other Kid Science Advisors in Washington, D.C.
Land O’Lakes High freshman Logan Beatty visited the White House as one of President Barack Obama’s Kid Science Advisors in October. Beatty, pictured to the right of President Obama, poses with other Kid Science Advisors in Washington, D.C.
Published Dec. 21, 2016

LAND O'LAKES — Logan Beatty always has believed in the power of possibility.

"My motto in life has always been 'endless opportunities,' " said Logan, a ninth-grader at Land O'Lakes High School.

The International Baccalaureate student realized one of those opportunities on Oct. 21, when he visited the White House as one of President Barack Obama's Kid Science Advisors. Logan says he was the only student from the southeastern United States to qualify for the program, during which he participated in a roundtable discussion about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) ideas with representatives of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, senior administration officials, pioneers of scientific discovery and other Kid Science Advisors.

Logan first learned about the program as an eighth-grader at Pine View Middle School, when teacher Alyse Buckalew offered students five extra credit points if they wished to apply online for the Kid Science Advisor Initiative Essay Contest. Yet it was a lifelong interest in science and the environment that truly inspired Logan to apply for the program, a concept inspired at the White House Science Fair, when 9-year-old inventor Jacob Leggette personally suggested to President Obama that he have a panel of kid science advisors — a group of young people that would share their thoughts on science, technology and innovation.

"My parents and I participated in beach cleanups out at Indian Shores, and each year Mrs. Buckalew gives me tomato plants to grow," said Logan, also a Boy Scout who serves Troop 707 as senior patrol leader. "I've always been passionate about science and the environment."

When challenged on the submission form to share an idea regarding STEM fields, Logan looked to the world's oceans for an answer.

"Oceans cover 70 percent of the earth's surface, and we need to better explore them," he said. "A lot of what we see in technology is inspired by what we find in nature."

Logan's answer earned him a place among the 11 kids who came to the White House from across the nation, where, while touring the Roosevelt Room, they had a brief meeting with President Obama. He took them into the Oval Office for a photo and gave them all a Presidential Challenge Coin.

"I was originally told we wouldn't be able to meet him," Logan said. "When he walked in, I stopped breathing. I shook his hand twice."

Logan also got to meet and share ideas in a roundtable session with a panel of national STEM experts that included Dr. John Holdren, the president's science adviser, NASA administrator Charles Bolden, astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly, and France Córdova, director of the National Science Foundation.

Logan, a member of the Model United Nations at Land O'Lakes High, hopes in the future to explore a career in environmental or marine science and policy.

"It was Logan's level of intellectual curiosity that led him to follow through with this, and he is so able to express his ideas," said Jeff Morgenstein, assistant principal of the International Baccalaureate program at Land O'Lakes High. "He'll always keep open to the possibilities, and how to make them happen.

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"The president recognizes that young people like him are the vanguard of our future."

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