Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial Committee to commemorate him and to advocate and teach astronomy, chemistry, physics and robotics to young scientists-in-training students.

In 1999, the committee asked El Camino to act as a host for their cause.

“The primary focus is on fifth- to 12th-graders,” said El Camino spokeswoman Ann Garten. “The goal is to get them excited about science.”

The most popular event is the egg-drop contest. Participants design a container, place an egg inside and drop it from the top of the three-story math building. The boxes land in a concrete patio area.

“It takes place during lunch so everyone can enjoy it,” said Jean Shankweiler, dean of natural science. “Plus everyone wants to see if their apparatus works.”

A new event this year is American Honda Motor Co.’s demonstration of its futuristic robot. Dubbed ASIMO for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, the robot has the ability to move in human ways.

“It’s the same (ASIMO) from Disneyland,” Shankweiler said. “Honda supplies volunteers but they’re taking on a bigger part by bringing him in this year.”

NASA astronaut Dorothy M. Metcalf-Lindenburger will also speak to students about his experience in space and working with NASA.

“He can tell (students) about his mission,” Shankweiler said. “He can tell them how he prepared for space and what made him choose to be an astronaut.”

Parents, adults and siblings are allowed to attend but might be asked to wait outside if there is limited space in the classroom for students.

The event is free and runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The first 850 students will receive a free lunch ticket. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 310-660-3487 or by e-mail

The Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial Committee wishes to give special thanks to our strong support and dedication of Honda Corporation of America.

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