Nearly 3,000 students converged on Cuyamaca College on Saturday for the 2013 California Destination Imagination State Tournament.
The students – who are from all over California – range from elementary school to high school. The 200 teams competing on Saturday have already won a top spot in one of California's seven regional competitions held in February.
Local schools represented include Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, Flora Vista Elementary School in Encinitas and multiple schools from Cardiff and Encinitas.
On Saturday, the students competed in seven events that tested their critical thinking skills in challenges. For example, in one challenge, students had to build a structure that was strong enough to hold a certain number of weights.
Each event also included a presentation where students used props and costumes to bring awareness about different social issues.
"It teaches them they can achieve whatever they want," said parent Rema Popli. "They just have to wish it, dream it and do it."
Competitor Jasmie Aggarwal, said, "When we win we feel happy, and when we don't win, we think, 'OK, we'll be back next year.'"
Those who win this competition will head to Tennessee for the global finals, where they will compete with more than 1,000 teams from 20 countries.