SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - High Tech High is one of only 15 high schools nationwide to be selected for an invention competition this year by MIT. The students were awarded an $8,000 grant.

When cows or horses wander off, ranchers need to know about it in a hurry.

"If you find out your electric fence broke 10 minutes ago, those animals didn't get very far," teacher Scott Swaaley said.

Swaaley is pushing his student's limits like never before.

"It's something that's never been done before, and to be able to develop new technology, it's big pressure," student Brian Cesson said.

Sesson, 17, wants to attend MIT, so the stakes couldn't be higher. His class received an $8,000 grant from MIT to design a better electric fence.

Right now, if a cow or horse wanders off from a large property, ranchers don't know where the breach occurred. But if the students' new module system works, that rancher would be texted immediately, thanks to an app on a cell phone that could map the exact location.

"So not only do we have to have our device extremely accurate, but it also has to be good for really high voltages," student Phillip Steiner said.

These are students who excel in math, and are thinking outside the box, all trying to keep livestock safely inside a box. Wouldn't that be electric?