PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) —  The gymnasium at Churchland High School was packed today for the third annual FIRST Chesapeake robotics competition.

The two-day event included 36 teams from across Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.

Back in January, the students learned what the challenge would be and had six weeks to build a robot to compete in it.

Students say the competition is a blast and they like learning things from their peers.

“A lot of people here, they have the same interests as I do,” said Barbara Toussant, a senior at Churchland High school. “They have the same, not necessarily career paths because a lot of people here they maybe want to go into medical or nothing that has to do with STEM at all, but its great to see how people’s ideas come together and how they can put it out in the field.”

The students are competing for a chance to go to the district championship at the University of Maryland at the end of the month. The Hampton Roads event is sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding