While most of his friends were spending their summers on the beach, Amir Mojarradi, a senior at La Cañada High, did something just a bit more exotic: He trekked the Amazonian jungle.
Last year, Mojarradi won a Los Angeles County science fair for his project dealing with efficiently creating electromagnetic generators to save copper and other resources.
This experiment earned him a free expedition with the Earthwatch Institute, valued at just under $4,000.
The Institute, a nonprofit organization that gives people ways to experience science with field research teams all over the world, gave Mojarradi choices between expeditions to Europe, Africa and South America.
He chose South America's Amazon, because it sounded like the most adventurous of them all.
"I was so used to being in a city like La Cañada or Los Angeles and I wanted to see what it was like being away from all of that and my parents for awhile," Mojarradi said.