Local students hit the national scene. They`re in Kansas City for the Skills USA competition, a national vocational challenge. Vocational students from all over the nation.... whipping up competition...and wiring in thier skills. Eight students from Hillyard Tech St. Joseph took part competing with 4,800 others. Hillyard Technical School`s Robotics Team were amongst the top in the nation putting their vocational skills to the test. Members of the robotics team spent 600-hours on their project. "Our project that we are working on is pretty much all designed by us. And we take two different size gears..one bigger and one smaller and we assemble them in three different gear ratios....which is like three different orders. We do that four times on this carousel...and the arm clamps it and the drill turns on and spins the gears," says student, Nicholas West. It might sound complicated but for these guys it`s not too difficult. "Actually, programning the robot to actually go through the programs is not too hard," adds West. They won gold at the state competition, which landed them up for judgement here. Hopefully the streak continues. "I wish we`d make it to internationals after all the hard work was put into this," says student, John O`Callaghan. Instructors say it`s competitions like this that get students ready for the real world. It`s one of the things we`re striving to do is to put those students in a work setting. This is preparation for them. To get prepared for this..is like getting prepared for a job," says Electronics Instructor, Rick Sharp. Students say after the stress, and the nervous butterflies of competition....it`s a learning experience they get to take home.