Clay City and Northview high school's Junior Engineering Technical Society (J.E.T.S.) members participated in the 2011 J.E.T.S. Teams National Competition.
The two schools competed in different divisions because their teams were not the same size.
Northview had three varsity teams and one junior varsity team. The three varsity teams came in first, second and third at the state competition.
Northview's A team ranked 35th out of 123 other teams around the nation. The B team ranked 93rd and the C team came in 98th. The junior varsity team came in first at the state competition and ranked 42nd out of 50 other national teams.
For some students, being a J.E.T.S. member helps them gain knowledge about their future careers.
"The questions are pretty difficult. Some of it is physics related, but most is science and math. It's relevant to me because I'm going to be an engineer, but even if the others aren't pursuing an engineering career, they still enjoy it," Northview senior Zebulan Thomas said.
Clay City's varsity team placed 67th out of 132 teams, and was one of only four Indiana teams to qualify for nationals.
Their junior varsity team placed 40th out of 50 teams and was one of only two schools from Indiana to qualify.
There are two parts to the competition. Students complete a multiple-choice test and essay test. Their cumulative scores on each test determines their ranking.
"The essay test is the hardest part of the test. There's no multiple choice. You're anxious when you read the problem and try to learn and understand what it's about, and try to figure out how to solve the problem," Clay City senior Sean Sinders said.
Students are given 90 minutes to complete each section of the test, and they split up into groups of eight to collaborate on answers.
"The entire time during the essay portion, it seemed kind of fun because I have a good imagination. I had to figure out what can I come up with that answers the questions they gave us and is still entertaining," Northview freshman Daniel Love said.
The students prepare for the competitions by having practices after school.
"We can't do research during the test because we don't have a laptop or any other materials. You use your own knowledge and what you learn from the previous test," Thomas said.
Students also get a chance to socialize and develop relationships with other schools.
"It's an awful lot of fun. I think it's rewarding and they always do really well," Northview J.E.T.S. Coach Kirsten Snow said. "My teams have a tradition of eating a lot of weird junk food at competition. While we were in line, one of my Northview team members gave another school's team Twizzlers because the teacher mentioned she had forgot to get some for her students, and I thought these kids are so nice."