When 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed of Irving, Texas took a clock he had made himself to school, he didn’t expect to be led away in handcuffs. The young engineering and robotics enthusiast had his homemade tech confiscated by an English teacher. School officials and police officers, convinced it was a bomb, or at least a hoax bomb—despite the Muslim student’s protests that it was just a clock—led him away in handcuffs to a juvenile detention facility, where he was fingerprinted. Even after he had been released to his parents, he was suspended from school for three days.
While the police have dropped charges against him, many people were outraged by the fact that a talented, dedicated student was unduly punished for trying to show his teachers a piece of technology he had created outside of the classroom.
Scientists, politicians, and other STEM advocates have taken to Twitter to express their support and encouragement for his ingenuity. Here are nine ways the world is trying to let Ahmed know that his inventions are awesome, not criminal:
1. HE GOT INVITED TO THE WHITE HOUSE.
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.
— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
2. THE INTERNET’S FAVORITE ASTRONAUT INVITED HIM TO HIS SCIENCE SHOW.
Hi @IStandWithAhmed ! I'd love you to join us for our science show Generator in Toronto on 28 Oct. There's a ticket waiting for you.
— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) September 16, 2015
He also got some online encouragement from other astronauts, like Scott Parazynski.
3. HE GOT A SWEET NEW LOGO.
One Twitter user made him this:
— Izzy Galvez (@iglvzx) September 16, 2015
4. HE GOT INVITED TO FACEBOOK HQ.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted that the young inventor could stop by the tech company any time.
— Historical Pics (@HistoricalPics) September 16, 2015
5. NASA SCIENTISTS INVITED HIM TO VISIT.
The official @NASA Twitter account hasn't extended an invitation (though NASA HQ did mention him in a tweet), but individual NASA scientists working at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have let him know that he can come by for a tour:
— Doug Ellison (@doug_ellison) September 16, 2015
Others have assured him that they'll want to interview him when he's on the job market in a few years:
— Bipartisan Report (@Bipartisanism) September 16, 2015
6. HE GOT A SEAT AT THE GOOGLE SCIENCE FAIR.
This one's probably the most exciting shoutout for a young inventor—a seat at the Google Science Fair!
Hey Ahmed- we're saving a seat for you at this weekend's Google Science Fair...want to come? Bring your clock! #IStandwithAhmed
— Google Science Fair (@googlescifair) September 16, 2015
7. HE GOT INVITED TO VISIT BOX.
He got an offer to visit the $1.7 billion cloud storage company's headquarters in Silicon Valley from the CEO:
Ahmed, I know you've been invited to the White House and Facebook. But, we both know you're enterprise software guy at heart. Come by Box!
— Aaron Levie (@levie) September 16, 2015
8. HE GOT SOME ENCOURAGEMENT FROM HILLARY.
Hillary Clinton tweeted her support for the young maker:
Assumptions and fear don't keep us safe—they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building. https://t.co/ywrlHUw3g1
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 16, 2015
9. AND A SHOUTOUT FROM QUESTLOVE.
The Roots drummer tweeted his support for the teen:
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) September 16, 2015
Plenty of other people have tweeted their support for Ahmed, including MIT scientists, actresses, business moguls, and more. You can follow Ahmed's story at @IStandWithAhmed. Listen to him talk about his experiences in the video below: