Pres. Obama eyes Michigan high schoolers' safety project

Apr 22, 2013

President Barack Obama has had a briefing from two Lansing-area teenagers about their new technology for warning swimmers about dangerous off-shore currents.

19-year-old Spencer Ottarson and 17-year-old Julie Xu represented Williamston High School on Monday as of 12 teams that presented their science projects at the White House's third science fair.

Obama examined their Offshore Rip Current Alert System, which was on display in the East Garden.

The White House says Ottarson and Xu developed the technology as part of the 2012 Lemelson-MIT program InvenTeam.

The technology uses a buoy equipped with a solar-powered flow-meter and alarm system that can alerts swimmers to dangerous swimming conditions. Their goal is to reduce drownings caused by rip currents in the Great Lakes.