Sonoma County Office of Education

SCOE Welcoming 500 Students to 20th Annual Robotics Challenge

04/24/2023 -

Media are invited to attend as more than 500 elementary and middle school students from grades 4-8 will show off their problem-solving skills and creativity at the Sonoma County Robotics Challenge on Saturday, May 6, at Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa.

Student teams from 22 schools and youth organizations will compete in eight events from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each requires skill in design and programming with autonomous robots.

Some of this year’s events include:

  1. Sort the Bricks is a new event for 2023 that requires competitors to build a robot capable of detecting colors and moving Lego bricks to specific locations.
  2. King of the Hill matches two robots climbing a hill to occupy a space at the top that is large enough for one. The robot in the top space at the end of one minute is king.
  3. Off-Road Racing involves a 16-foot course with obstacles placed at different intervals. Teams design robots to overcome barriers, stay on track, and finish in the shortest time.
  4. Bull in a China Shop uses a 3-foot circular ring with 10 items of different sizes and weights scattered throughout the ring. Teams create a robot that will be able to push all 10 items out of the ring in the shortest time.
  5. Robot Sumo Wrestling engages two robot contestants in trying to push each other out of a 3-foot circular ring.
  6. Robotics Triathlon asks participants to create an "Olympian"-type robot that can traverse an obstacle course, follow a line, and, finally, drop a ping-pong ball in a specific location in the shortest time possible.

SCOE partnered with local schools and the Sonoma County Economic Development Board to create the Robotics Challenge, now in its 20th year.

Participating schools and organizations in the 2023 challenge include Adele Harrison Middle School, Austin Creek Elementary School, Binkley Elementary Charter School, Burbank Elementary School, Healdsburg Junior High, Hillcrest Middle School, Gravenstein Elementary School, Kenilworth Junior High, Kenwood School, Madrone Elementary School, Manzanita Elementary School, Mary Collins School, McNear Elementary School, Mill Valley Middle School, Petaluma Accelerated at McKinley School, Santa Rosa Accelerated Charter School, Spring Lake Middle School, Steele Lane Elementary School, Village Elementary Charter School, Whited Elementary Charter School, Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma-Marin, and Golden Hills 4-H.

A video recap of the 2022 event can be seen here.

Learn more about the Sonoma County Robotics Challenge by visiting