the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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Recognizing the Scientists of Today and Tomorrow

Summary: 
First Lady Michelle Obama highlights the hard-working employees of the Department of Energy and stresses the importance of fostering tomorrow's scientists.
First Lady Michelle Obama at Dept. of Energy

(First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Department of Energy for the National Science Bowl competition in Washington, D.C., Nov. 5, 2009. Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton) November 5, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

During a visit yesterday to the Department of Energy, First Lady Michelle Obama was all smiles as she praised employees for their bright ideas, innovation, and hard work—all in the name of making the United States a more energy-efficient country. She also made sure to highlight the importance of investing in the future scientists of the country—the children who today sit in math and science classes across the country, and tomorrow will be working in our labs:

But whether it's doing groundbreaking scientific research; or ensuring our nuclear security; making our homes, our offices, our cars, appliances more efficient; or fighting to turn the tide on climate change, what you're doing here couldn't be more urgent.  Your work is critical for our economy and our national security and preserving our environment for our kids and our grandkids.  That's the work that you do.

And it's not easy.  Everyone knows it's not easy.  And I know that most of what you're working on right now, as hard as you're working, probably won't even be finished this year, or maybe not even this administration, or even during the course of your careers here at the Department.  You may not see the final outcome of the work that you're doing.

So in the coming decades, you all will be passing the torch to the next generation.  Truly, you're going to be handing over what you've begun to a lot of young people who are right now just beginning to develop -- those future scientists and public servants.  And it truly will be up to that next generation, it's going to be up to them, our children, our grandchildren, the young people that we mentor, it's going to be up to them to carry all of this wonderful work forward. 

Steven Chu at Dept. of Energy

First Lady Michelle Obama listens as Energy Secretary Steven Chu asks questions during the National Science Bowl competition at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., Nov. 5, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton) November 5, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)