WATERVILLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — More than 200 high school students from across the state got a chance to compete in an intense technology driven event Saturday, all while having fun.

It’s called the Thomas Cup Gaming and Computer Technology competition, and for the second year in a row, Thomas College in Waterville hosted the event. Although several students had a hard time keeping their eyes open for the 24-hour event, they said it was still the experience of a lifetime.

From hyper to sound asleep, it appeared to take a toll on the gamers.

“What am I going to tell my family? I am extremely tired,” said Jayden Garrison. “I’m probably just going to go home and sleep and tell them about it in the morning.”

Like many others, he has been up for the last 24 hours, but with good reason.

“I think they all saw the trophy and they wanted that trophy, they wanted in,” Thomas College student organizer Hunter Quinlan said. “I think it’s important to show kids that technology can be fun.”

Forty-one teams competed head-to-head from Friday evening into Saturday morning through a number of technology competitions, including cyber defense, gaming and crime scene investigations.

One of the best parts?

“Everybody is welcome,” Garrison said.

Even those who aren’t familiar with programming, like sophomore Kassandra Nelson. After learning how to decrypt code, she said she can do anything now.

“Just go for it, and it’s a great experience," she said. "You should always just try to do whatever it is that you might be scared of first, but it’ll turn out to be something really great."

She also said the skills she acquired from this experience will help her get into the college of her dreams… Thomas College, perhaps? After all, the school is offering each participant $1,000 off their tuition if they attend.

The winners of the event were a group of five from Baxter Academy in Portland. They each received their own trophy and will be awarded a larger trophy in front of their school within the next few weeks.