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It’s one thing to program and build a robot; it’s another thing to do it as a team. This statewide event is an opportunity for youth enrolled in 4-H robotics to demonstrate their learning, celebrate their accomplishments, and interact with others who share an interest in robotics. Robotics clubs may compete as a team in the annual State 4-H Robotics Competition. The contest tests a club’s ability to work together creatively to solve a set of tasks. 


On July 16, 1969, we as a civilization accomplished the impossible and sent three brave souls to the moon and back. Over the next 50 years, we have sent rovers to Mars, explored interstellar space with our Voyager 1, and have even put a Tesla into orbit! We now know secrets of the galaxy that were once hidden and have been able view objects that we never thought we could, like a black hole. With the privatization of space, companies have been able to test and develop technologies that will both make commercial space flight a possibility, as well as allow us to go further than we have ever thought we could go. It will be the minds and accomplishments of today’s youth that will propel us into the cosmos of tomorrow. This year’s competition revolves around this exciting field, and the STEM involved.

CLICK HERE to download the updated complete set of rules and guidelines.

Reason This Event is Being Postponed

The impact of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) continues to create uncertainty and concern both globally and here in our community. Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, the University of Illinois has implemented social-distancing protocols that impact all University events. Illinois Extension, as the outreach program of the University, aligns with all policies related to public health and safety. Effective immediately, ALL face-to-face events organized by Illinois Extension have been cancelled, suspended, or transitioned to online delivery. This will apply to all events previously scheduled through May 31, 2020. 

Contest Divisions 

Teams will compete in three events: 1) Table Performance Judging, 2) Technical Judging, and 3) Teamwork Judging. Due to the size of the event, Technical and Teamwork judging will be a single 30 minute combined judging session with Teamwork and Technical judges observing both.

I. Table Performance Judging, Three Rounds (10 minutes each)-35% of total score

Teams will have until May 9, 2020 to design and program a robot that is able to complete as much of the SpaceBot Challenge as possible. This challenge covers information contained in the 4-H Robotics Platforms curriculum. It is not expected that teams will achieve perfect scores in the Performance Judging, but rather that team members design a robot and program that reflects their current level of learning. The challenge is designed to be open-ended and includes a lot of room for creativity. See Contest Rules for COMPLETE GUIDELINES.

II. Technical Judging, 10 minutes- 45% of total score

A team may provide a demonstration of the robot and its program to the judges. Teams will be allowed to bring their field into the judging room, however robot tables will not be provided so the field will need to be set up on the floor. If your team decides to do a presentation, it should be at the beginning of the session. Only team members are allowed in the judging room, no coaches, parents or siblings. This requirement is primarily a space issue – up to six teams will be in each judging room.

The judges will wish to view your team’s robot and ask you about its design. YOUR TEAM SHOULD BRING CODE DOCUMENTATION FOR YOUR SPACEBOT. This video has tips on printing code documentation for an NXT robot (very similar for EV3 Robots). 

The team members should answer the judges’ questions. For the robot design judging, points will be awarded based on assessment of the teams’ technical understanding and not on the performance of their robot.

III. Teamwork Judging, 10 minutes- 20% of total score

This portion of the competition will challenge each team to work together for a common goal. The goal will not be announced until the actual judging session for your team. This section will force you and your teammates to adapt to something new, and effectively communicate as a team. This section is designed to assess your team’s ability to work together and stay level headed as you work through a difficult task.

Don't forget to join the Illinois 4-H Robotics Facebook page to connect with hundreds of robotics members, coaches and families, and to receive instant updates about upcoming robotics events!


Participation is open to all 4-H members and participants do not need to be selected in a county competition prior to the state competition.

Contact for More Information:

The Illinois 4-H Robotics Facebook page has the most up-to-date information (copy-paste the following link)
Illinois 4-H STEM Team
Keith Jacobs, Natalie Becerra+Stasiewicz, and Eric Li
State 4-H STEM Specialist
Keith Jacobs

Event Information

Jun 01, 2020