Two local schools battled it out in the final of the EPro8 Challenge, with Hunterville School emerging as the winner.
The Hunterville Honchos, whose team members were Zoe Nydegger-Monks, Hine Marino-Maangi, Alec Murray and Harry Cherrie, aced the competition and returned with this year's trophy.
Nearly 60 teams from schools throughout Whanganui, Rangitikei, Tararua, Manawatu and Horowhenua competed in the engineering challenge. In teams of four, the Year 7 and 8 students had to use the materials they were given to construct a series of engineering challenges.
The Hunterville Honchos came second in their regional heat in Feilding, then won one of the regional semi-finals, with Brunswick School winning the other semi-final. That saw both teams into the regional final at Monrad Intermediate in Palmerston North last week.
"I really didn't think we'd win. We were really surprised," Harry said.
Hine said although there had been a few disagreements during the final, generally the team members worked well together.
"We get along well," she said.
Alec said he enjoyed "making things" with his hands, and his teammates said they felt the same.
Hunterville School principal Stephen Lewis, who went to the final to support his students, said the win was not without drama.
"We'd been told that Brunswick School was the one to beat. At the end they were neck and neck with Norsewood School - but our team overhauled them at the very last challenge to win.
"It was a nail-biting finish, and we're very proud of them," Mr Lewis said.
Brunswick School came second and Norsewood School was third.