Sonoma County Office of Education

2022 Sonoma County Robotics Challenge

2022 Robotics Challenge logo

Welcome to the official website of the 2022 Sonoma County Robotics Challenge!

The Sonoma County Office of Education is excited to resume our annual robotics challenge now in its 19th year. The event encourages K-8 student activities with robots involving both mechanical design and programming using Lego Robots and microcontrollers.

Saturday, April 30, 2022 from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Elsie Allen High School
599 Bellevue Avenue, Santa Rosa

Intent to Participate Form - Team coaches please complete this form to help us prepare for the 2022 event and share updates.

Lego Robot Events & Official Rules

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 by 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 2022. Contestants develop a means of capturing and transferring ‘fish’ from one area to another in the shortest amount of time. Important detail for this event: Fish Construction Guide.

Bull in a China Shop | Bull in a China Shop Rules (pdf)

This challenge uses a circular ring with 10 different items placed at various locations in the ring. A single robot has the task of knocking the items out of the ring in the shortest time possible.

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 4-6 students only.

Free Form | Free Form Rules (pdf)

This year’s Free Form event challenges teams to explore the idea of “Open for Business” 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.

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."

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 the 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.

Robotics Triathlon | Robotics Triathlon (pdf)

The Robotics Triathlon asks participants to create an ‘Olympian’ like robot that will traverse an obstacle course, follow a line, and finally drop a ping pong ball in a specific location in the shortest time 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 “Open for Business.” To participate, students should build a Lego creation featuring the Open for Business theme.

Microcontroller Challenges

Microcontrollers are inexpensive compact integrated circuits with various inputs and outputs. This year’s event challenges participants to use either micro:bits or Circuit Playground Express microcontrollers. Activities in this area of the competition will be submitted virtually through videos showing challenge responses. An entry form will be posted here in March 2022. Participants with microcontroller challenge entries do not need to be present at the April 30th onsite event. Here are this year’s microcontroller challenges:

Beginning Level Challenges

Project Push Button

micro:bit Circuit Playground Express
Program the micro:bit to display one image when the A button is pressed and a different image when the B button is pressed. Program the Circuit Playground Express to do a NeoPixel rainbow chase clockwise direction when the left button is pressed and when the right button is pressed a neopixel rainbow counterclockwise chase.

Temperature Sensing

micro:bit Circuit Playground Express
Program the micro:bit to display a smiley face when the temperature is above a certain value and a sad face when the temperature goes below the value. Program the Circuit Playground Express to play a high pitch when the temperature is above a certain value and a low pitch when the temperature goes below the value.

Intermediate Level Challenges


micro:bit Circuit Playground Express
Using the micro:bits radio features, program one micro:bit to cause another micro:bit to produce some action (eg. light an LED, run a program) Program the Circuit Playground Express to cause another Circuit Playground Express to produce some action (eg. play a song, NeoPixel light display)

Free Form

micro:bit Circuit Playground Express
Use the micro:bit to express an idea about the theme, “Open for Business” Use the Circuit Playground Express to express an idea about the theme, “Open for Business”


Each participant in the 2022 Challenge Event will receive a participation certificate from the Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Steve Herrington.

Microcomputer Achievement Awards

All entries will be evaluated by judges using the following recognition criteria:

  • + Bronze Award - one successful challenge submitted
  • + Silver Award - two successful challenges submitted
  • + Gold Award - three or more successful challenges submitted

Lego Challenge Event Awards

Achievement Ribbons are offered to the 1st through 4th place finishers from each of this year’s competitive events.

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.

Candy Amos, SCOE Information Systems Support Analyst
"I love all the activities SCOE does to bring us all together. I think that’s very unique." - Candy Amos, SCOE Information Systems Support Analyst