Sonoma County Office of Education

Student Events

Robotics Challenge Logo

Welcome to the official website of the 2016 Sonoma County Robotics Challenge!

2016 Sonoma County Robotics Challenge
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Elsie Allen High School
599 Bellevue Avenue, Santa Rosa

Official Team Roster Entry Form
To enter team and student information please click here. Registration forms are due on or before Sunday, April 24 at 5:00 PM

Events & Official Rules

Ping Pong Ball Handoff | Ping Pong Ball Handoff Rules (pdf)
The Ping Pong Ball Handoff is a collaborative challenge. It involves teams creating robots that will receive a ping pong ball from the left and pass it to another robot on the right. What makes this challenge creative and interesting is what happens in-between your inbox and the next inbox. Here's a YouTube video showing a "Great Ball Contraption." It inspired the planning team to add this event to the 2016 challenge!

Capture the Flag | Capture the Flag Rules (pdf)
The objective of this event is to compete against another robot to locate and capture a flag within a one-minute time period.

Drag Racing | Drag Racing Rules (pdf)
The objective of this contest is to race your robot on a track that is 16 feet long and beat your opponent to the finish line. This year’s drag racing competition is open to grade 4-5 students only.

Free Form | Free Form Rules (pdf)
This year’s Free Form event challenges teams to explore the theme of “Creating Order Out of Chaos” with bonus points added for creating a routine or story on this theme. Entries will be judged on the robot’s ability to follow action scripts, difficulty of tasks, and adherence to the theme. Participants may choose to enter the Beginning or Advanced competition categories in this event.

Off Road Racing | Off Road Racing Rules (pdf)
Off Road Racing involves a 16-foot long course with blocks of wood placed at different intervals. The object of this event is to overcome the barriers, stay on track, and finish with the best time.

Sumo | Sumo Novice Rules (pdf) | Sumo Expert Rules (pdf)
Robot sumo wrestling engages two robot contestants in trying to push each other out of a circular ring. The first robot to touch the floor outside of the ring loses. The last robot remaining in the ring wins. This year's event features novice and expert competition categories.

Mini Golf | Mini Golf Rules (pdf)
This challenge involves designing a robot to hit a golf ball into a hole with as few strokes as possible.

Construction & Design Museum | Grades 1-6 | Display Rules (pdf)
Students in grades 1-6 are invited to display their Lego creations in the Construction and Design Museum. This year's theme is focused on Amusement Parks. To participate, students should build a Lego creation featuring an amusement park ride.

Tools & Materials

Teams should have these tools and materials with them at the event:

  • Garage. A garage serves as a container for your robot, protecting it from accidents that can happen in the hustle and bustle of a tournament.
  • Printout of your programs to show the judges
  • Backup of your programs on CD or flash drive
  • Extra batteries (AA or battery pack) and/or NXT/EV3 battery charger
  • Extra LEGO pieces
  • Practice course, if one was built
  • Infrared programming tower and/or USB connection cable from the kit
  • Any other hand tools that the team may need
  • Emergency contact numbers for team members
  • Note paper and writing utensils
  • Camera
  • Trinkets to share with other teams (buttons, stickers, etc.)
  • Practice area team banner and other decorations
  • Lunch or lunch money
  • Student participation forms (from Registration Packet)


Golden Propeller Head: A trophy is given to the team that best represents the spirit of the games by demonstrating excellence in teamwork, mechanical design, programming, and performance. The trophy is kept at their school until the following year’s competition, when it is handed off to the new team. The team’s name is engraved into a plaque on the side of the trophy.

Grand Gear Head Award for Mechanical Design: Awarded to the team whose robot best demonstrates solid mechanical design and function.

Genius Programmer Award: Awarded to the team that demonstrates the best use of robot programming.

Team Spirit Award: This award goes to the team that most enthusiastically demonstrates a commitment to getting others to see how accessible, fun, and rewarding science and technology can be, especially when you’re part of a great team. Displays chronicling your team’s outreach efforts are encouraged.

Best Overall Robot Performance Award: If your robot is performing ahead of the pack and the high scores are racking up, you are destined to receive this award.

Against All Odds Award: If you walked to the tournament in the rain, barefoot, through a jungle of angry robot-hating gorillas, this award may be for you! The award goes to the team that has come from the back of the pack to demonstrate grace under pressure, while improvising and adapting to overcome all obstacles that have been thrown their way.

Training resources, videos and other materials for the Sonoma County Robotics Challenge can be found here.