DURHAM -- Nearly 200 students from all over the state came to Hillside High School in Durham on Saturday to compete in the VEX Robotics Competition.

The competition included about 45 teams made up of students ranging from grades 6 through 12. Each team has a robot that meets the requirements for the 2016 Nothing but Net competition.

Parents and teachers say they are pleased that so many students are taking part in the future of technology.

“It is just like being on an athletic team. You have got to have meetings and planning and building, trying and going back to figure out what didn't work, and then how do we work with that. And coming to something like this is just like going to a football game,” said Rich Sheldahl, of Durham County Schools.

The top three high schools and middle schools will head to the state competition, which will be  March 12 in Concord.