Elementary, junior high and high school students Monday will showcase a host of simple and complex projects — from wildfire behavior experiments to smell tests — as part of the three-day Riverside County Science & Engineering Fair.

About 450 students from private and public schools throughout the county are slated to take part in the event, which concludes Wednesday evening at the Riverside Convention Center. Top finishers will be eligible for spots at the California State Science Fair in Los Angeles April 20-21.

According to the county Office of Education, a total of 365 projects will be presented, covering nearly 20 subject matters, including animal science, artificial intelligence, biotechnology and undersea research.

Fourth-graders Bryce Hill and Carter Metcalf from Monroe Elementary School in Bermuda Dunes will present findings from a project that detected the responsiveness of kindergarten students to robot teachers compared to the real ones.

Sixth-grader Abbey Starling from Franklin Elementary School in Riverside will use research by her firefighter father to show how wildland blazes gain speed going uphill or downhill.

Fourth-grader Tristan Guerrero from Victoriano Elementary School in Moreno Valley will reveal the outcome of a project intended to document whether people detect artificial odors better than authentic ones, while eleventh-grader James Kim from MLK High School in Riverside will explain the possible link between an individual’s handwriting and his or her personality.

An awards ceremony recognizing students who scored highest for projects in each category will be held Wednesday evening.

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