Sonoma County Office of Education

SCOE Welcoming Hundreds of Students to 21st Annual Robotics Challenge

04/29/2024 -

Media are invited to attend as more than 450 elementary and middle school students from grades 4-8 will show off their problem-solving skills and creativity at the 21st Sonoma County Robotics Challenge on Saturday, May 4, at Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa.

The event, run by the Sonoma County Office of Education, engages students in applying mathematics, science, engineering, critical thinking, teamwork, and oral presentation skills through robotics activities.

Student teams from 25 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. Capture the Flag: Modeled on the popular game, this challenge involves two robots racing to locate a red flag. The first robot to capture the flag and bring it back to their home circle wins.
  2. Off-Road Racing: This event involves a 16-foot long course with obstacles placed at different intervals. Teams design robots able to overcome the barriers, stay on track, and finish in the shortest time.
  3. Sumo: Robot sumo wrestling engages two robot contestants battling to stay on a 3-foot circular ring. The last robot remaining in the ring wins.
  4. Bull Dozer: Individual robots are challenged to locate four 8 ounce soda cans filled with sand and “bull doze” them to point zones on the field. The winning robot scores the highest number of points at the end of their run.
  5. Bull in a China Shop: This challenge uses a 3-foot circular ring with 10 items of different sizes and weights scattered throughout 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 schools and organizations in the 2024 challenge include Adele Harrison Middle School, Austin Creek Elementary School, Binkley Elementary School, Burbank Elementary School, Grant Elementary School, Golden Hills 4-H, Healdsburg Junior High, Hillcrest Middle School, Gravenstein Elementary School, Kenilworth Junior High, Kenwood School, Madrone Elementary School, Mary Collins School, McNear Elementary School, Mill Valley Middle School, Penngrove Elementary School, Petaluma Accelerated at McKinley School, Petaluma Junior High, Santa Rosa Accelerated Charter School, Sequoia Elementary School, Spring Lake Middle School, Steele Lane Elementary School, Valley Vista Elementary School, Village Elementary School, Whited Elementary School.

A video recap of the 2023 event can be seen here.

Learn more about the Sonoma County Robotics Challenge by visiting