Robotics Exhibitions and Competitions

Missouri 4-H Robotics & STEM Challenge


The Missouri 4-H Robotic & STEM Challenge will allow 4-H members in the Robotics and Computers & Programming projects an opportunity to showcase the skills they have gained in teamwork, engineering, programming, and problem solving. There are seven contests: Known Challenge, Unknown Challenge, Exhibition, Sumo Bots, Motorized Challenge, Scratch Google Doodle, and TurtleBlocks. Robot platforms include Lego Mindstorms, VEX IQ/EDR/V5, or any other appropriate robot meeting the requirements of the challenges. Interviews are part of the challenges. Participants may also have an educational display and/or demonstration. Each individual and/or team will have a pit area to collaborate, program, and maintain robots as necessary.

This event is sponsored by Missouri 4-H and MFA Incorporated.


Registration is open March 13 through 4HOnline and will close on April 10. The challenge is open to Missouri 4-H members and do not have to qualify at a local robotics event.

This is an individual or team challenge: youth may be part of a team of 2-5 youth in the same age division. There is a participant fee of $10 per youth; with $5 entry fee per youth per challenge entered. Credit Card payment preferred with cash or check payments made to the county of 4-H enrollment.

Registration is available through 4HOnline.

Youth will register individually and will compete as individuals or on a team in the same age division. They will identify the team members when they register (each youth will do this.) Team members must be in the same age division. Participants must be 4-H age of 8-18 as of January 1, 2018. Age divisions: junior (8-10) intermediate (11-13) and senior (14-18).


Memorial Union
518 Hitt St, Columbia, MO 65201
GPS Coordinates: 37.7715777, -90.5785927


9:00am - 9:30am
9:15am - 10:00am
Individuals and Teams set up pits; motorized challenges, robot exhibitions
Lunch break
Final Awards - A complete schedule of the order of challenge competition will be available online after April 1st. Awards will be presented after each contest is complete.


Awards are provided by the MFA Incorporated. The 1st place individual in each individual challenge and team challenge per age division will receive a plaque. Team members will receive medals based on placing in the contests. Every participant will receive a ribbon. There are no premiums.

Overview of Challenges

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    Sumo Bots

    Open to all age divisions

    A Robot Sumo contest involves two contestants/teams whose robots operate in the sumo ring according to the game rules. The individual contest continues until four Sumo points are scored by one of the contestants, or until one of the contestants has a score two point greater that an opponent. The overall contest is structured using a double elimination tournament format, where each robot must lose two matches to be eliminated from the tournament. Robot platforms can be LEGO Mindstorm NXT or EV3, Vex IQ or any other robotics platform that meets the size and design requirements.

    Sumo Bots Challenge complete rules

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    Known Challenge

    Open to Junior and Intermediate Divisions

    This year’s Known Challenge is Robot Rover-Board! In this event youth will design, build, and program a robot capable of moving 5 beanbags from the GRID area of the game field to specific spots in the SCORING AREA, within 2 minutes. All robots must work autonomously throughout the 2 minute match. Robot rescues are allowed during the match - see match scoring guide for details.

    Known Challenge complete rules

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    Unknown Challenge

    Open to all age divisions

    Clubs will gather on the morning of the event for the Unknown Challenge Release, hearing for the first time details of the challenge(s) robots must accomplish. For 1 hour teams will work in their pit areas to design, build, and program a robot that can complete the tasks outlined in the Challenge Release. At the end of this work time, clubs will demonstrate their engineering skills in the Challenge Events on the main stage by completing the challenges. Robot platforms can be LEGO Mindstorm NXT or EV3, Vex IQ or any other robotics platform that meets the size and design requirements.

    EARN EXTRA TIME AND HINTS to complete the challenge by bringing canned food donations for the 4-H Feeding Missouri initiative.

    10 cans = 10 minutes extra work time and a hint about the challenge before the start of the event. Maximum of 3 hints/30 min extra (but no maximum on donation amounts so feel free to bring extra!).

    Unknown Challenge complete rules

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    Motorized Challenge - Amusement Park of Factory

    Open to Junior and Intermediate age divisions

    Spinning - Twirling - Rising - Falling - Amusement parks are full of fun. In this challenge youth use their imagination to build a single ride or a whole park full of rides.

    Or, youth may create a Factory based scene or process.

    Adding scenery and backdrops with paper or craft items is encouraged. At least one of the rides in the amusement park or one of the processes in the factory must use a sensor to trigger an action. The models may be built using any type of materials including LEGO WeDo, LEGO technic, VEX IQ parts, hobby motors, erector sets, K'Nex, craft supplies, etc. They may be programmed with the LEGO WeDo software, Scratch, or any other control system. The entry must include at least one sensor and one motor. Builders are encouraged to add sound effects to their display. Youth may enter as an individual or a team.

    Motorized Challenge complete rules

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    Robot Exhibition

    Open to all age divisions

    In this event, youth are encouraged to be creative and present a unique robot exhibit or challenge for display. The robots must include an autonomous aspect and projects which interact with humans are encouraged. Use of a remote control for part of the demonstration is allowed, as long as the youth includes some programming of the controller beyond the basic tank or arcade driver controls and as long as they are able to explain their programming to the judges. Each robot exhibit will be judged for creativity and technical content. Youth who are brand new to robotics, as well as experienced youth, are welcome to show off their robot and field designs.

    Robot Exhibition complete rules

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    Scratch Google Doodle Contest

    Open to all age divisions

    As part of the Computer Science Pathways grant to Missouri 4-H, there will be a virtual contest to create a Google Doodle using Scratch. This is open to each age division. Creations will be uploaded for judging and displayed during the contest day. The project entries may be created by individuals or teams. Youth entering the Google Doodle Scratch Contest do not have to be present at the contest.

    Scratch Google Doodle Contest complete rules

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    Turtle Blocks Exhibition

    Open to all age divisions

    Do you love to code? Are you creative? If yes, then create your own artwork and participate in the Missouri 4-H Turtle Blocks Exhibition! This will be an exhibition only, and you don’t have to attend the day to participate. Turtle Blocks is a Logo-inspired turtle that draws colorful pictures with snap-together visual-programming blocks.

    Turtle Blocks Exhibition complete rules

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    Exhibition in Robotics and STEM Projects

    Open to all age divisions

    Exhibitors may bring an educational display on the robotics or other STEM project or give a demonstration. Standard 4- H Score Sheets will be used for both of these events.

Thank you

Thank you to the Missouri 4-H STEM Committee for their dedication to choosing and describing the challenges, setting the schedule and working quickly to get information prepared for 4-H members. Thank you to Dr. Susan Renoe for securing the Memorial Union for the event and to Dr. Jo Britt-Rankin for including the contest as part of Show Me Mizzou.