33 robotics teams from across the world compete in Central Valley Regional in Fresno

After a two-year hiatus, hundreds of students were back to compete in the Central Valley Regional in downtown Fresno on Saturday.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Robotics teams from across the world competed in the final rounds of the Central Valley Regional in downtown Fresno on Saturday.

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, that meant an exciting return to competition for hundreds of students.

It's been an action-packed week at the Fresno Convention Center - with 33 teams competing. Students are showing their skills with robots that can fight, shoot hoops, and much more. It's an experience many have been looking forward to for years.

When COVID-19 forced organizers to cancel the international competition last year, many students - like Meghan Haubrich - wondered if they'd ever return to the ring.

"For a while, we weren't sure if we were ever going to get that experience so to be able to be here in that environment and talk to people has been really perspective-shifting," she says.

Masks were required at the in-person eventc, giving teams from across the world an opportunity to compete.

"We booked our flights really last-minute because of all the COVID and we weren't sure if it was actually going to happen and it was a long journey - 20 hours flying out," says Aarna Sanghai from India.

More than anything, organizers hope the competition is a way to spark students' interest in STEM fields.

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