JKCF Young Scholar Participates in White House Science Fair

LANSDOWNE, VA – Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholar Robert Kancans from White Bear Lake, Minnesota, has been invited to participate in the fifth White House Science Fair, hosted today by President Barack Obama. Robert will join more than 100 other bright minds to learn about innovative projects, discoveries, designs, and experiments from students across the country excelling in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

“There’s a reason so many young people love science,” said President Obama. “It’s fun, it’s fascinating, and it helps us solve the mysteries of our world. I want more boys and girls across America to get the chance to study science, technology, engineering and math—and maybe have the opportunity to go on to careers in those fields, too. So I’m glad so many organizations are stepping up to support STEM education. When we invest in our young people, we invest in our future.”

As a Young Scholar, Robert has spent his high school summers studying engineering through the University of Dayton Summer Honors Engineering Program, biotechnology through the Stanford Pre-College, and biomedical engineering through the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI).

Over the course of eight weeks at UPCI, Robert engaged in intensive cancer research on tumor immunology, which he continues to research as a senior in high school with a faculty member at the University of Minnesota. In spring 2014, Robert won the Minnesota Department of Education Scholar of Distinction in Science award for his research.

“We are very proud of Robert’s accomplishments and delighted they are being recognized by the White House,” said Executive Director Harold O. Levy. “Robert comes from an underresourced community on the outskirts of the Twin Cities and has excelled in our Young Scholars Program. He is the perfect example of the heights a smart student can soar when given the right opportunities.”

In addition to his research, Robert serves as Patrol Leader for his Boy Scout troop, sings in the Minnesota Boys Choir, and plays an active role in several school clubs like Model UN and the Investment Club.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. By offering the largest scholarships in the country, in-depth academic counseling and other direct services, the Foundation seeks to help high-performing, low-income students to develop their talents and excel educationally. In addition to providing students both counseling and financial support from middle school to graduate school, the Foundation provides grants for noteworthy and innovative initiatives that support high-performing, low-income students. Founded in 2000, the Foundation has awarded over $130 million in scholarships to almost 1,900 students and over $80 million in grants. www.jkcf.org