Obama plugs math, science education; honors achievement in science, technology, innovation

Features Associated Press

President Barack Obama holds up a compact flash memory card as an example of technology innovations during his remarks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, before awarding the National Medals of Science and ... National Medals of Technology and Innovation. The awards are the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government upon scientists, engineers, and inventors. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (The Associated Press)

President Barack Obama is recognizing achievements in science, technology and innovation by handing out medals for achievements in those fields.

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The medals handed out Thursday at a White House ceremony are the nation's highest honors for the men and women behind life-changing discoveries.

The recipients include researchers working on such projects as DNA replication, mathematical statistics and personalized medicine.

Also recognized was the inventor of what's known as a flash or thumb drive. Obama brandished one of the devices at the ceremony.

Obama used the event to plug math and science education for boys and girls and students of color. He announced that groups that are working to help put more math and science teachers into classrooms are putting an additional $28 million toward the effort.