Sonoma County Office of Education

Student Ingenuity on Display in Robotics Contest

04/19/2018 -

More than 400 elementary and middle school students from grades 4-8 will show off their hard work and technical prowess at the sixteenth annual Sonoma County Robotics Challenge on Saturday, May 5. Student teams from 28 schools will compete in eight events that require skill in robot design and programming.

The event will take place from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM at Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa. The public is invited to attend.

Students prepare for the Sonoma County Robotics Challenge between February and April, during which time they design, build, and program robots using Lego Mindstorm robotics kits and programming software. Project work promotes skills needed for success in the modern world, including problem solving, innovation, team collaboration, and communication.

The Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) partnered with local schools and the Sonoma County Economic Development Board to create this program, which is now in its sixteenth year. The goal of the partnership is to engage elementary and middle school students in applying mathematics, science, engineering, critical thinking, teamwork, and oral presentation skills through robotics activities.

Learn more about the Sonoma County Robotics Challenge by visiting

This year’s challenge events include:

  • Maze Runner: Asks participants to design and program a robot which successfully navigates an 8 foot by 8 foot maze from start to finish in the shortest time.
  • King of the Hill
: Matches two robots climbing a hill to occupy a space at the top that is only large enough for one. The robot who is in the top space at the end of one minute is "King of the Hill."
  • Off Road Racing: Involves a 16-foot long course with sections of lumber placed at different intervals. Teams design robots able to overcome the barriers, stay on track, and finish in the shortest time.
  • Sumo
Robot: Sumo wrestling engages two robot contestants in trying to push each other out of a three foot circular ring. The first robot to touch the floor outside of the ring loses. The last robot remaining in the ring wins.
  • Bull in a China Shop: 
Uses a three-foot circular ring with 10 items of different sizes and weights placed at random locations in the ring. Teams have the task of creating a robot that will be able to push all 10 items out of the ring in the shortest time possible.

Participating Organizations

Adele Harrison Middle School

Austin Creek Elementary School

Brooks Elementary School

Douglas Whited Elementary School

Fitch Mountain Elementary School

Golden Hills 4H
Hidden Valley Elementary School

Hillcrest Middle School

Horicon Elementary School

John B. Riebli Elementary School

Kenilworth Junior High School
Kenwood School

La Tercera Elementary School

Meadow Elementary School
McNear Elementary School
PACS at McKinley School
Proctor Terrace Elementary
Rincon Valley Charter School

Roseland Collegiate Prep

Roseland Creek Elementary

Santa Rosa Accelerated Charter School

School Inspiration

Sheppard Elementary

Sonoma Country Day School

St Eugene School

St Francis Solano School

Steele Lane Elementary School

Technology Middle School