By Jessica Dean

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Creative students got a unique opportunity to test their inventions Wednesday in Aston, Delaware County.
Neumann University hosted the Southeastern Pennsylvania Science Olympiad — one of the biggest science competitions in the nation.

It was a gymnasium full of brain power.

Pint-sized vehicles taking off — powered by electricity.

And not so fast vehicles — propelled by a falling weight.

The trick was to design each one to just go a certain distance and stop.

Hundreds of inventors were intent on their gadgets.

A big think tank of young scientists from more than 50 middle schools and high schools in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.

The students have been preparing for the challenge all school year, putting their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math into practice.

One of the coolest competitions — bottle rockets — were temporarily grounded.

“My heart is breaking for them because the weather is pulling them off from finishing up their event,” said Patti Strobel, a biology professor at Neumann.

Inside, other inventions were not always going the way the students were hoping and simply falling down.

And some of them going up as planned — powered by rubber bands, making for some anxious moments.

The rubber band helicopter challenge was a lot of fun for Amy Page and Grace O’Malley — juniors from Bayard Rustin High School in West Chester.

“The goal is to have it in the air in the longest amount of time,” said O’Malley. “You’re allowed to have two official flights, so my first one was a minute, it counted. My second didn’t count, but I already had a pretty good time so it was fine.”

“You just have to come in with your ‘A’ game every time and you never know what to expect,” Page said.

And just when students didn’t expect to get their bottle rockets off the ground because of the weather — they got a break from the rain. Lift off!