EDISON, NJ - Students from 27 middle schools and 27 high schools all over New Jersey participated in the 26th annual State Finals of the New Jersey Science Olympiad held at Middlesex County College March 15.

The competition is designed to encourage students’ interest in science and technology. They took tests, fired bottle rockets, piloted helicopters and solar vehicles, and raced self-propelled cars. The top teams from regional tournaments held earlier this year went to the state finals; the state winners – Community Middle School and West Windsor Plainsboro North – will go on to the national championship at Colorado State University in May.

In the high school division, West Windsor-Plainsboro South finished second and Montgomery High School was third. In the middle school division, Montgomery Upper Middle School finished second and Crossroads Middle School (South Brunswick) was third.

Here, from left: Amey Venkatanaraya and Kevin Tang of the Middlesex County Academy in Edison prepare their entry for an event called Mousetrap Vehicle. Teams build a vehicle using one or two mousetraps as its sole means of propulsion that can push a plastic cup forward, reverse direction, and come to a stop behind the starting point.