Robotic Events
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 through 4HOnline at

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


9:00 am – 9:30 am           Check-in

9:15 am – 10:00 am        Individuals and Teams set up pits; motorized challenges, robot exhibitions

12:30 pm                            Lunch break

3:30 pm                              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

(Links to complete rules listed below)

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.


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.


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!!)


Motorized Challenge  -  Amusement Park or 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.

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. 


Scratch Animate a Name 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 the Animate a Name from the 2018 4-H National Youth Science Day challenge, Code Your World 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 Animate a Name Scratch Contest do not have to be present at the contest.


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. 


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.

For more information, contact:

Lynna J. Lawson, 4-H Youth Development Specialist 1110 S. College Avenue

Columbia, MO 65211 Phone 573.631.6467



Click contest below for complete rules

Junior - Age 8-10

Intermediate - Age 11-3

Senior - Age 14-18

Google Animate a Name




Turtle Blocks




Sumo Robots




Known Robot Challenge




Unknown Robot Challenge




Motorized Challenge




Robot Exhibit




STEM Exhibit