May 27, 2014. At the 2014 White House Science Fair, President Obama announced he’s a longtime fan of the Hoberman Sphere. Now in its fourth year, the event showcased students from 30 states for their remarkable achievements in science, technology, engineering and math. Among them was 12 year-old Peyton Robertson, winner of the “America’s Top Young Scientist” award at the 2013 Discover Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Peyton is famous for his “sandless sandbag” invention, which uses a polymer and salt combination to create lightweight flood barriers that expand when wet.
To demonstrate the expansion of polymer in water, Peyton picked up the Hoberman Sphere, which he then handed to his amused President. “I actually have one of these,” President Obama said. “Sometimes I just stare at them in space.”
President Obama joins a long list of self-ascribed celebrity Sphere fans, including Bill and Hilary Clinton and Bill Gates. The Sphere has also appeared on several hit TV shows, such as The Office and Big Bang Theory. Most recently, another staple of the Hoberman toy line – the Switch Pitch - made a cameo appearance on the critically-acclaimed HBO comedy, Silicon Valley.Share