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Flippen Elementary Trio Gets Cool with President Obama

Henry County Schools
Press Release

Submission Date: April 24, 2013


Release Date:  For Immediate Release


Contact: J.D. Hardin, 770-957-5107 ext. 608,

(Release # 0069-4-13)


White House Science Fair

Flippen Elementary Trio Gets Cool with President Obama

Students present Cool Pads concept at White House Science Fair 


HENRY COUNTY, GA – If the number of trips to the nation’s capital is any indication, a trio of students from Flippen Elementary may want to look into setting up frequent flyer miles accounts.  Caleb Robinson and Evan and Alec Jackson were in attendance on Monday, April 22 at the presidential residence as a part of the 2013 White House Science Fair.  They were able share their innovative idea known as “Cool Pads” with some of the nation’s top scientists and President Obama.


Centered on the need to help keep football players safe during the extreme heat of practices and games, the boys created a cooling system that provided lower temperatures to the body through the shoulders, helmet, armpits, and groin area.  Sensors would monitor body temperatures and cool as necessary.


The idea first gained recognition as the Grade K-3 regional winner of the 2012 Toshiba and National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision competition.  The boys are 8 to 10 years old.


Approximately 100 students representing 40 states got the chance to show off their inventions to the President and senior Administration officials, appointees, and Members of Congress at the third annual event.  There were media and sports personalities there such as Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” LeVar Burton of Star Trek and Reading Rainbow, and New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.


In an effort to give more recognition to STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) initiatives and its progress across the nation, the President has been vocal about his intent to give the same treatment to outstanding students that many are accustom to the seeing high-achieving sports teams receive.


The President once noted, “If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House.  Well, if you’re a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.”


As a part of their reward for the ExploraVision competition in 2012, the three students, their families, mentor, and coach traveled to Washington, D.C., in June of that year to present their winning entry to Congressman Lynn Westmoreland and other Members of Congress.  In addition to the expense-paid trip, the boys received $2,500 savings bonds.


Flippen Elementary Principal Dr. Toni Obenauf stated that the entire school community is extremely proud of and excited for their award-winning students.  She shared, “They are dedicated students who will achieve great accomplishments in life.”


For more information on Flippen Elementary and the young students, go to