ROBINSON, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — Robinson High School held its first annual engineering competition Thursday with nine schools participating.

Teams competed in five design builds all centered around the field of STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The builds were constructed prior to the competition and tested that day and included mouse trap cars, a toothpick bridge, a tennis ball catapult, and a rubber band flying machine. They finished off the competition with a surprise build.

Community partners served as judges.

In addition to the STEM competition, students heard from guest speakers about local career opportunities in the STEM field. Something math teacher, Davide Forbes, said is especially important in the Robinson community, “It’s important for our kids to get hands-on practical experience with that means to interact with community members that are in those fields to know what future job opportunities are available.”

The competition also featured a College STEM Fair. Students had the chance to interact with local universities from Illinois and Indiana about STEM degrees.

“The importance for our kids is to know that it’s good to go away and get those STEM degrees because then they can come back to our community and not have to go off to the bigger cities to pursue a STEM degree,” Forbes said.

The day wrapped up with awards for the competition winners.

Forbes said they hope to expand this event in the future. Schools interested in getting involved can reach out to Robinson High School to find out about future STEM events.