FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --More and more high school students are grabbing hammers and building robots as technical education continues to grow in the Valley.
Robots took center stage at Fresno City College Thursday, as local high school teams competed for a win.
"It gets really intense sometimes because most of the people here-- everyone works hard on their robots. So, when you see everyone going against each other, you know it's going to be a good match," said Jesus Nieblas, Edison High School junior.
Nieblas was on the Edison High team that competed against several others at the annual career skills challenge at Fresno City. The event, put on by the Fresno County Office of Education, has been running for 40 years now. Organizers said career technical education is growing.
"It really has evolved with the times. Much more reflective of our local economy-- a lot of rigor. A lot of technology high reading skills, math, and reasoning," said Valerie Vuicich, Career Tech ED Administrator.
This year, students are competing in 31 categories. These students used creativity to put together floral designs in no time.
Hard hats and hammering filled the construction site as high schoolers built miniature walls. Clovis High's female team worked under pressure to build their way to the top.
"My family has been in construction. I've always watched it as I've grown up. I've always thought it's just a guy's thing, but when I came to Clovis High they opened up a construction club and that's how I got into it. I just love building stuff," said Nicole Berry, Clovis High.
Students said they're learning valuable lessons. In total, more than 1,300 students from the Valley competed at the event.
Organizers hope the students not only have fun at the competition but will leave with a passion for pursuing their technical careers.