While most Santa Maria high school students enjoyed their summer vacation outside of the classroom, a group of 11 students have spent dozens of hours in a first-floor laboratory at Hancock College preparing for next year's Santa Barbara County Science Fair. "This is where kids get to do independent research like a real scientist," explained Riccardo Magni, who organizes the annual Summer Science Institute for Santa Maria high school students. "They find the projects that they like ... and are able to study it more frequently and passionately."