Local students invited to the White House

Students at the White House. (Photo: WJLA)

It is an invention that earned these two middle schoolers a ticket to meet the president.

The Heads Up! helmet was designed by a team of Virginia students and was recognized Tuesday at the White House.

“Our idea was to redesign the military helmet to help prevent traumatic brain injury,” says inventor Sydney Dayyani.

“We wanted soldier to live longer healthier lives,” says Jack Dudley, one of the inventors.

It took the team of four one week to brainstorm and come up with the idea.

Just last week, they learned they'd be one of nearly three dozen teams from across the country to attend the White House science fair.

U.S. President Barack Obama called on Tuesday for millions of dollars in new funding to improve math and science education, an effort he said would be crucial to the nation's long-term success.

Obama said his upcoming budget proposal, set to be released next week, would include a request for $80 million from Congress for a new Education Department competition to support math and science teacher preparation programs. Obama made a similar request to Congress last year but the measure didn't pass.

Separately, he announced $22 million in investments from the private sector to support math and science efforts. Among the organizations committing fresh funding are Google and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Obama said a renewed focus on math and science education should be an American imperative.

"The belief that we belong on the cutting edge of innovation, that's an idea as old as America itself," Obama said. "We're a nation of thinkers, dreamers, believers in a better tomorrow."

The Loudoun County seventh graders were honored to be asked to the White House.

For their parents, there is reason to be proud as well.

“We have had to fight for recognition,” parent Brenda Conwell-Dudley. “We have had to claw our way into tiny little blurbs in the newspaper and so it’s great that these kids could come today and be acknowledged by the President of the United States.”