Cloquet high schooler set to meet President

By KBJR News 1

October 15, 2010 Updated Oct 15, 2010 at 6:58 PM CDT

Cloquet, MN (Northlands NewsCenter) -Courtney Jackson,17, was home sick on Thursday when she got a surprising phone call from the editor of the The Society for Science and the Public.

"(She said that) President Obama wanted me to come out to DC on Monday and talk to him about my science project."

Since that call Courtney has been busy thinking about how to summarize a science project she's been working on since she was 13.

"I know for sure I'm going to say it's an honor to meet you but I'm still trying to work out what I'm going to say after that," She said.

Courtney will get the chance to tell President Obama how she has mapped out Venus and why it's important. But the President isn't the only who will learn something from Courtney.

"We learn together and she just keeps learning more about Venus mapping," Cynthia Welsh, Courtney's 7th grade science teacher who helped her start the project, said.

"It is beyond me what she's learning. It's just amazing that she can grasp something at that level," Amy Jackson, Courtney's mom, said.

Courtney was recommended for the trip by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. Science and community leaders said Courtney is a great role model.

"It's so important, particularly with the native community that they become leaders in science," Diana Dalbotten, director of diversity programs for the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics, said.

Courtney admits that completing her science project hasn't been an easy task. However, one thing has gotten her through it all.

"Follow your dreams. I know people always say that but really, if you have a goal and you set a goal and you want to achieve that goal just follow the steps that you need to do that and maybe you'll end up like me and meeting the president," She said.

Posted to the web by Boua Xiong

*Correction: Amy Jackson was incorrectly identified on this taping of this story. Diana Dalbotten is the correct individual.