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Young scientists take inventions to White House to wow president

Since 2010, Obama has invited hundreds of kids to the White House to show off their inventions and projects
Students show off inventions at White House science fair 03:31

Young scientists have set up camp at the White House, with their robots for heavy lifting and underwater discovery - displays they hope will wow the president.

Some of their creations just might be life-savers, reports CBS News correspondent Chip Reid.

Among them is a small robot designed to replace filters in mine shafts.

Girl Scout Science Fair team meets Obama, questions his "brainstorming sessions" 00:38

"Saves lives, overall, having robots that can do this instead of having to send a human into hazardous conditions," said teen inventor Jacob Bosarge.

Middle schoolers Simon-Peter Frimpong, Maya Max-Villard and Grayson Fast of Colorado built a prosthetic leg from scratch to help America's war heroes.

"We want to make it individualized for each specific veteran," they said, like their friend Kyle, who used to hike and camp in the mountains.

But they want to help Kyle to be able to do even more, like ride a longboard.

"This piece slides into the longboard and then Kyle would then wear this and it slides in so that he can ride," they explained, showing how the device clips onto the board for stability.

Hannah Herbst also wanted to use her extraordinary smarts to help a friend -- her pen pal Ruth in Ethiopia, who has no electricity. The 15-year-old's invention can be placed in water to generate power and light.

"I had to convert that crazy cloud of electrons in DC power or direct current, which is a straight line of electrons, and to do that, I used a bridge rectifier, which you see right there," Hannah explained.

"Do you realize you're speaking a foreign language? Do you consider it a foreign language?" Reid asked.

"Not really," she replied. "This is my language" -- science.

It's a language that can be translated into fun or serious business, like for 9-year-old 3D printing entrepreneur Jacob Leggette, who sells his toys after he makes them.

"You can make whatever you want," Jacob said.

The president will meet the young scientists Wednesday and also announce new private sector investments in science education.

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