President Barack Obama invited a broad spectrum of established and budding scientists to the White House for a science fair, including some people with North Carolina ties.
He used the day's events to highlight his administration's increased funding of science, technology, engineering and math education.
When one of the student presenters -- an eighth-grader from Arizona named Joey -- displayed his air cannon, the president couldn't resist learning more.
And when the president learned the air cannon could fire marshmallows up to 176 feet, he talks Joey into firing the cannon. Indoors. In the White House.
The rest, as they say, is presidential history -- and a potential Secret Service headache.
Impatient viewers should skip ahead to the 2:05 mark for the payoff. If the video above doesn't work, watch the original version on the White House's official YouTube feed.
Patricia Simmons, who is N.C. State's STEM education department chair, attended Tuesday's events. She also leads the National Science Teachers Association.
Three seniors from the Durham-based North Carolina School of Science and Math were invited to the White House, according to a NCSSM news release.
Katrina Gutierrez of Charlotte, Greeshma Somashekar of Cary, and Ada Taylor of Durham created MedPAL, a cell phone app, according to NCSSM. If cardiac problems occur, MedPAL sends GPS coordinates to an emergency call center and/or contacts family members using a Bluetooth-enabled heart monitor. Learn more about MedPAL on the group's Facebook page.
Also, four students from the Charlotte area brought their project to Tuesday's science fair.
Obama's interest in the sciences isn't just a political act. Read more about Obama's inner geek here.