Sometimes, even when there’s a Democratic president, I worry about science policy — whether there will be sufficient funding for research and education, whether the administration is soliciting and heeding feedback from scientists on subjects like climate, that sort of thing. And then I see the genuine delight on President Obama’s face as he helps a tiny brainiac shoot a marshmallow cannon, and I worry a little less.

The cannon is the work of an eighth grader from Arizona named Joey Hudy, a participant in the White House Science Fair, and it can shoot one hell of a marshmallow. This device in its current form is probably not useful to you unless you’re Gozer the Gozarian or the Lucky Charms guy, but what’s important is encouraging the spirit of scientific inquiry — which the president is evidently genuinely happy to do.

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