ANCHORAGE -

Three students at the Mat-Su Career and Technical High School are taking science to a new level in their personal lives, as they seek careers in the field of their dreams.

Inside Tim Lundt's science classroom at the school, juniors Ariel Hasse and Josh Hartman, as well as freshman Lucas Arthur, have all excelled. Even at this age, the three take their work seriously.

The trio is part of the state's champion Science Olympiad squad -- a credential on their resumes they hope will get them accepted to schools like MIT, Cal Tech, and the U.S. Naval Academy. Through applied-science projects, such as trying to determine an unknown mass using a system of levers, the goal is to apply what they learn in the lab to use in competition and in the real world.

Hasse, a junior, says she was able to apply those concepts of chemistry and the laws of matter while working on some four-wheelers with her family. She and the others hope to turn their love of science and its real-life applications into paying jobs.

"I'm thinking about pursuing theoretical physics and economics," Hasse said.

"I'm thinking about pharmacology or neuroscience," Hartman.

"I'd like to major in astrophysics," Arthur said.

"Between the three of us we call each other nerds," joked Hartman.

The intellectually stimulating environment is producing some very smart kids, and when it comes to the future of the science world, it’s a safe bet these kids will lead the way.

"I value science, I value education,” Arthur said. “I value knowledge more than I think a lot of people do -- I just think it's an important thing.”