SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – Science, technology, engineering, art and math - they are skills our children learn in school. But what happens when students are asked to combine them together in a timed competition?

A CBS News 8 viewer emailed us about this unusual contest at her daughter's school. It's called Odyssey of the Mind.

The students have to get creative with recycled items because no team can spend more than $140 and some Carlsbad High School students had to do it on their own time.

“Some people have jobs, others have internships and we're all taking honors and AP classes so this is in addition. So we fill it in when we have time,” said Junior Kate Carter.

It's called Odyssey of the mind and it's a worldwide competition that requires creative problem solving skills and parents can't help.

“There's no outside assistance. It's just your seven members on your team that have to work out these problems,” explained Junior Nelson Girod.

The students had to design, build and operate one or more vehicles that overcome obstacles.

The Carlsbad teens constructed three vehicles and took a huge leap of faith.

“We're supposed to do a two inch jump, but we didn't think it's enough. So we're doing a two foot jump instead,” added Girod.

But this is only part of the problem, they also have to tell a story that pulls their experiment together and the Carlsbad High Students kicked things up a notch with a plot about a Sort Circuit that gets bullied for being short.

Because of technical difficulties at the state championships, Carlsbad finished 4th, which was not high enough to move on to the World Championships. But the judges were so impressed with their story, they awarded them the Ranatra Fusca Creativity Award, which automatically lets them advance.