President Obama Hosts Two SMSA NFTE Students at the White House Science Fair

Spotlight on Excellence     May 2013

President Obama Hosts Two SMSA NFTE Students at the White House Science Fair

by NFTE New England Executive Director Jennifer Green
Morgan Ziegler is in the back row, far right (white jacket) and Magda Wegrzyniak is to the right of President Obama.
WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday, April 22, the President hosted the White House Science Fair and celebrated the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country. The President hosted the first-ever White House Science Fair in late 2010, fulfilling a commitment he made at the launch of his Educate to Innovate campaign to inspire students to excel in math and science.  As the President noted then, “If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you're a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.”
Two of the students chosen were from the Sport and Medical Sciences Academy in Hartford, CT, specifically from Anne Nguyen’s Marketing NFTE Course. As a Certified Entrepreneurship Teacher through the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), Mrs. Nguyen embeds the full NFTE program into her marketing class, where students learn about marketing through the lens of entrepreneurship. They create their very own business plans and compete in local and national NFTE competitions.  Magda Wegrzyniak and Morgan Ziegler, the two students chosen to attend the White House Science Fair, created a business plan for their technology concept, HandyWear, an app that allows users to view their closet virtually on an Apple application. Handy Wear users can take a picture of the apparel they own, upload it onto their application, and customize their look, all in the palm of their hand.

According to the girls, “We believe that the business plan we created will open doors in our futures.  Both of us are first generation college students pursuing degrees in the fields of biology and criminal justice.  We have worked hard to turn our dreams of entering college into a reality.  We have surpassed our high school requirements in the mathematics field in order to prepare ourselves for college level classes. We are currently enrolled in an AP Calculus BC course that was specifically added to the school curriculum to challenge our abilities. The business plan emerged as a solution to a common problems that both of us face on a rather daily basis. Our business was created in a way that takes advantage of the growing technology across the world.  Our goal was to use advancing technology like smart phones and tablets as an opportunity to create a successful business.  The business, Touch & Go Apps, creates Apple applications within the lifestyle category. This category of applications helps users include their smart phones and/or tablets in their everyday lives. Handy Wear is the first application that our business plan highlights. This application allows users to replicate their closet virtually. Users can upload current items of clothing to their virtual closet where they can create numerous outfits on an avatar. Our goal is to help our users save time and money by using the same articles of clothing that they already own in more than one outfit which will save them money through tough economic times.

Surpassing the expectations of society has not been easy for the both of us. At a young age I [Magdalena Wegrzyniak] came to the United States from Poland in search of better education opportunities. I was fortunate enough to have a strong support system at home to rely on. Magdalena has interest in the fields of biology, business and law. She will be attending University of Connecticut in the fall planning to major in biology and correlate that with business.”

Both Magdalena and Morgan are taking a BC Calculus course at their high school in Hartford, CT. Morgan Ziegler is a high school senior currently preparing for college. She plans to attend Norwich University in Northfield, VT where she will complete her studies. She plans on doing a double major in criminal justice and math. Her dream job is to become an investigator in the FBI or an agent in the CIA.


About the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship

Too many young people today drop out of school and struggle to break the cycle of poverty. Since 1987, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has been inspiring young people to pursue educational opportunities, start their own businesses, and succeed in life. By providing entrepreneurship education programs relevant to the real world, NFTE empowers students to own their educations in and out of the classroom and to find their own path to success. Hundreds of thousands of students have discovered opportunity all around them through entrepreneurship via thousands of certified educators worldwide. NFTE supports active programs in 19 U.S. locations and 13 countries around the world. Entrepreneurs are a powerful driver of economic growth and NFTE sows the seeds of innovation in students worldwide. To learn more visit, like us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at @NFTE.

About the Sport and Medical Sciences Academy

Hartford's Sport and Medical Sciences Academy is a local magnet school which utilizes a thematic approach in delivering a cross-disciplinary curriculum, integrating technology into all subject areas. It is a community school where parents and teachers serve as mentors, advisors and coaches, encouraging students to take an active role in their learning and to achieve academic success. It is a partnership of the educational and business communities with a strong commitment to public service opportunities, allowing students to develop social consciousness and leadership skills, which will foster pride in both the school and the community. Graduates of the Sport and Medical Sciences Academy will begin the 21st Century as contributing, productive members of society destined for lifelong learning.  

For Media Contact:

NFTE New England Executive Director Jennifer Green;, 781-239-5863

SMSA NFTE Marketing Teacher Anne Nguyen:, (classroom) 695-6941

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