Not many high-schoolers are like Logan Beatty.
The freshman at Land O’ Lakes High School is a member of a select group.
He was one of 11 youths nationwide chosen to participate in President Barack Obama’s first-ever Kid Science Advisor program on Oct. 21.
The 14-year-old submitted an essay to the White House last spring, outlining the importance of exploring the world’s oceans in developing better technology.
“I used some of the inspiration that I have from living in Florida, and going to do beach cleanups,” Beatty said.
More than 2,500 essays were submitted nationwide, for the Kid Science Advisor program. Beatty was selected to represent the Southeast region.
“You don’t get that many opportunities to get your voice heard — especially as a student,” Beatty said.
Beatty and others participated in a roundtable discussion about future STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) ideas with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, senior Administration officials, and various pioneers of scientific discovery.
Among the people he met were Dr. John Holdren, President Obama’s chief science advisor; Charles Bolden, current NASA administrator; France Cordova, director of the National Science Foundation; and Scott and Mark Kelly, retired astronauts who are twin brothers.
It was an experience that Beatty is unlikely to soon forget.
“It was really cool,” Beatty said, “because I’m not sure how often (kids) are able to do things like this.”
During his visit, Beatty was able to explore the West Wing of the White House, touring the Roosevelt Room and the Oval Office.
“It was really incredible,” he said about the White House. “When we first went in, they had two different layers of security, which was a very long process. But, once we did get inside, it was just random, little details that stood out — like the black floor tiles actually had fossils in them. And, we got to see the library of the Executive Office, which was really cool. I liked some of the architecture.”
White House officials initially told Beatty “there was no way” the group of kids would meet President Obama.
Yet, a short time later, President Obama walked through the back door of the Roosevelt Room, to the group’s surprise.
“I nearly stopped breathing,” Beatty said with a chuckle. “We saw him for about five (minutes) to seven minutes. It’s more than most people get to see President Obama, especially in his office.”
Beatty, who’s in the Land O’ Lakes High School’s pre-International Baccalaureate (IB) program, is a busy student.
In addition to a rigorous pre-IB curriculum workload, the teenager is a member of several school clubs including Model UN, photography and drama. He’s also involved in Boy Scout Troop 707 in Land O’ Lakes.
“I get it all done, somehow,” he said, “Mostly losing sleep.”
Land O’ Lakes assistant principal Jeff Morgenstein described Beatty as an “outstanding student.”
“When I look at the students that come into our (IB) program, Logan really exemplifies the idea that they want to make a difference in their community, in our nation and in the world,” said Morgenstein, “and they do that through ideas, through conversation and being part of things that are bigger than them.
“Doing things to make the future better — that’s who he is.”
Published November 23, 2016