Anne Arundel County's own teen celebrity scientist, North County High School student Jack Andraka of Crownsville, will be one of the guests in the audience at President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
First lady Michelle Obama invited Andraka to the address as a representative for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, according to a statement from the White House press office.
Andraka, 16, made a huge splash in 2012 with his invention of a paper-based sensor that can help more accurately and efficiently detect pancreatic cancer—a feat that won him first place in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, plus the attention of several patent-seeking companies.
The video of Andraka winning his award gained a lot of attention as he jumped up and down with excitement.
In an interview with Glen Burnie Patch last year, Andraka said he first became interested in cancer research after a close family friend died from pancreatic cancer. He also told the story about how his project almost didn't get off the ground. His epiphany, he said, came as he was reading a scientific journal and half-listening to his biology teacher talk about antibodies. He recalled how his teacher confiscated the journal after catching him reading it.
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