NORTHRIDGE — Strutting their expertise in matters ranging from reptile recognition to bottle rocketry, about 1,500 students from 105 elementary, middle and high schools competed Saturday in the 15th annual Los Angeles County Science Olympiad.
"This is a place for kids to practice science as a real event, outside of the classroom," said Arie Korporaal, who developed the county's first regional Science Olympiad in 1986.
This year, many of the approximately 30 events had to be brought inside at Cal State Northridge because of rain.
From one crowded basement hallway, students participated in a "Battery Buggy" event in which small, hand-constructed, battery-operated carts ran a short distance, then stopped at a finish line within a specified time.
Seventh-graders David Chavez and Joshua Foster, both 13, from Lakeside Middle School in Norwalk spent four weeks working on their buggy, with the help of science teacher Eric Marsoobian.