Aseem Mishra loves the drums. But the 17-year-old student hates hauling his equipment. So he did what any scientifically-minded musician would do -- he built a drum kit in his pants.
Lai Xue's passion for the movie "Ironman" inspired him to create goggles that make the virtual world look real.
Mishra and Xue are just two of the more than 1,500 high school students from 65 countries gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the largest competetion of its kind in the world.
Other projects grapple with global concerns such as earthquake detection, tsunami response, oil spill cleanup and a cure for cancer.
Judging took place on Tuesday and Wednesday and the winners of the fair will be announced on Friday. The first-place winner will receive $75,000. Two other finalists will receive $50,000 each. The three finalists will travel to Stockholm for the Intrnational Youth Science Seminar, where they will attend the Nobel Prize ceremonies.
"The winning project is selected on the basis of outstanding and innovative research, as well as on the potential impact of the work," according to the website for the Society for Science & The Public, "in the field and on the world at large."