Three innovative San Fernando Valley elementary school students are headed to space camp this summer after finishing on top in the annual LA's BEST Science Fair.
Eddie Santos of Hart Street School in Canoga Park, Estuardo Marroquin of Langdon Avenue School in North Hills, and Susan Estrada of Napa Street School in Northridge were among five students citywide to be named winners in the science contest, officials said.
The five will travel with a parent to Huntsville, Ala., next month for an all-expenses-paid weekend at the U.S. Parent/Child Space Camp. Established in 1982, the NASA-affiliated camp offers an overview of space exploration.
The science fair, held in downtown Los Angeles last weekend, involved competition among the winners of science contests at all 24 LA's BEST schools.
LA's BEST, which stands for Better Educated Students for Tomorrow, was established in 1988 and provides free after-school tutoring, sports, field trips and other activities at elementary schools in neighborhoods deemed most vulnerable to problems with drugs, gangs and violence.
The 19 runners-up citywide received passes to the new California Science Center in Los Angeles.
Estuardo, a fifth-grader at Langdon, impressed the judges with his project on electric cars.
"I noticed that gasoline-powered cars waste a lot of gas and electric cars are cleaner," he said. "It was interesting to do research and learn more about them."
Hart fifth-grader Eddie Santos, who based his project, "Pop Secret Science," on cooking popcorn without electricity, said science is his favorite subject.
"I like it because you get to look at questions you don't know about, and then you can try to solve them," Eddie said.
The third Valley winner, Susan Estrada, a fifth-grader at Napa Street, built a volcano as her entry.
"It was made out of papier-mache and I made it erupt," Susan said. "It was a great experience. I learned a lot about volcanoes."