Honoring Kid-Innovators at the 2013 White House Science Fair

April 30, 2013

As someone who recognizes the importance of STEM education, President Obama announced the first-ever White House Science Fair in 2009, an event that honors kid-innovators who have created some of the best inventions. This year, nineteen-year-old Anthony Halmon from Chicago was among the 100 students selected to receive this recognition.

President Obama congratulating Anthony Halmon at White House Science Fair (photo from

Anthony represented The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) at the White House Science Fair, an organization whose “mission is to provide programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities and to plan for successful futures.”

With the help of NFTE, he developed a business plan in 2012 around his product idea, the Thermofier. The Thermofier is a pacifier with a built-in thermometer that aims to ease the woes of parents by providing them constant monitoring of their child’s temperature when ill.

In order to provide a more compelling story, Anthony wanted a visual of his idea. TJ Kim, Beyond Design’s Director of New Product Development, and Mike Beltran, Northwestern University Mechanical Engineering professor, offered to help Anthony fulfill his dream. TJ provided renderings for Anthony and Mike Beltran produced a 3D prototype using Northwestern University’s prototyping lab. This allowed Anthony to not only tell people about his product at the White House Science Fair, but to also show people what he envisions for the look and functionality of his design.

A visual of Anthony's Thermofier (created by TJ Kim with direction from Anthony)

Description of how the Thermofier works (created by TJ Kim with direction from Anthony)

Anthony’s story is pretty amazing and we can’t thank TJ Kim and Mike Beltran enough for their help in making his dream come to life. He will begin his studies in general engineering this fall at Cornell University. You can read more about Anthony and his journey to the White House here.

You can also check out the video below on Anthony from MSNBC.

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