Students from 3 area high schools representing a total of 9 local communities are competing in a national robotics competition in St. Louis over the next 4 days. Students from GFW High School and the Minnesota New Country School in Henderson are competing on a single team in the robotics championship. St. Peter High School students are also taking part in the competition. The communities the local students represent include Brownton, Fairfax, New Ulm, Gibbon, Winthrop, Henderson, LeSueur, St. Peter and Mankato. The robotics challenge is different each year. This season the students had six weeks to design and build a robot that could shoot smaller-size basketballs into regulation-size hoops. Another competition also involved balancing the robot on see-saws with other robots. How the robots are designed, how they accomplish tasks to score points and how they are programmed is all left up to the students. The national competition in St. Louis runs through Saturday.