FW: Pool report - Astronomy Night

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From: xxx@email.com [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2015 8:02 PM
To: Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO
Subject: Pool report - Astronomy Night

Hello - pinch-hitting for the print pool tonight.

Flanked by a NASA space suit and a large reflective telescope, POTUS spoke for about 10 minutes to a crowd of about 300 seated on the South Lawn.

He talked about opportunities for students in STEM and his administration's accomplishments in science and space research. Please see transcript for full remarks

Notables in the crowd included Senator Bill Nelson, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage from MythBusters, and NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden.

And of course: Bill Nye, who was mobbed by students wanting selfies afterwards.

The "clock boy" Ahmed Mohamed was there in the third row. POTUS did not make any specific reference to him, although he did speak about the scientific accomplishments of several other students who were present. Please see transcript for full details.

After POTUS spoke, the crowd was invited to visit stations set up on the dark and cold South Lawn. Press were roped off and could not check it out, sadly.

Background from the White House:

Tonight on the South Lawn, the President joined more than 300 students, educators, astronomers, and parents who gathered for Astronomy Night. Following the President's remarks, guests will have the opportunity to hear first-hand from astronauts and other scientists, and to look through telescopes at the moon and the stars. More than 80 national parks, observatories, schools, museums, and astronomy clubs across the country also hosted local events tied to White House Astronomy Night.

Following his remarks at Astronomy Night, the President was joined on stage by Agatha Sofia ("Sofy") Alvarez-Bareiro, a high school senior from Brooklyn, NY, who showed the President the Moon through an 11-inch telescope. Sofy took part in the Beam Center's program in Brooklyn that prepares high school students to teach "City Astronomy" to younger students. During a school-based apprenticeship, the students welded an eight-foot geodesic dome, learned to code a light show projecting constellations inside the dome, and learned basic astronomy lessons that can be taught to elementary school students.  The telescope the President used was brought to the event from the National Air and Space Museum, where it is used for public events and educational outreach

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Roberta Rampton
White House Correspondent

Reuters

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