Sonoma County Office of Education

2020 Robotics Challenge

Robotics Challenge Logo

Welcome to the official website of the 2020 Sonoma County Robotics Challenge!

2020 Sonoma County Robotics Challenge
Saturday, May 2, 2020 from 8:45 AM - 1:00 PM
Elsie Allen High School
599 Bellevue Avenue, Santa Rosa

Here is a link to the Intent to Participate Form. Forms are due on or before March 27, 2020.


Challenge events are designed for beginner through advanced student competitors. Teams may choose to compete in one event or a combination of challenges. All competitors agree to abide with the general competition guidelines (pdf) and the rules for the specific competition events listed below:

Gone Fishing | Gone Fishing Rules (pdf)

Gone Fishing is a new mechanical event for 2020. Contestants develop a means of capturing and transferring ‘fish’ from one area to another in the shortest amount of time.

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 “20-20: What’s Your Perfect Vision for the Future?” Bonus points are 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.

King of the Hill | King of the Hill Rules (pdf)

This contest 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."

Woots and Snarks | Woots & Snarks Rules (pdf)

Woots & Snarks is a new event calling on programmers and designers to create robots that will move soda cans from one area to another based on the soda can’s color.

Off Road Racing | Off Road Racing Rules (pdf)

Off Road Racing involves a 16-foot long course with barriers 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 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 rules have ALL categories of robots competing together.

Robotics Triathlon | Robotics Triathlon (pdf)

This timed “Olympian Event” challenges competitors to design a robot that will carry a ping pong ball as it passes through an obstacle course and follows a line. When the robot reaches the end of the line, it must release the ping pong ball depositing it in a coffee can. The robot who can successfully complete these three tasks in the shortest time is the robot triathlon winner!

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 “20-20: What’s Your Perfect Vision for the Future?” To participate, students should build a Lego creation featuring a theme for the future.

Pit of Despair | Pit of Despair (pdf)
Robots must dive into the dreaded ‘Pit of Despair’ to find a plastic bottle and push the bottle out in the shortest amount of time.


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 share with the judges
  • Backup of your programs on CD or flash drive
  • NXT/EV3 battery charger
  • Extra batteries
  • Extra LEGO pieces
  • Practice course, if one was built
  • 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



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.

Amie Carter, Sonoma County Superintendent
"The mission of the Sonoma County Office of Education is to foster student success through service to schools, students, and the community." - Amie Carter, Sonoma County Superintendent