Robotics Competitions

P1120530There are several ways to introduce LEGO robotics into your school or club. Dr. Amy Eguchi suggests three ways: thematic, project, and competition (see Alemisis, 2013 who references Eguchi). This post introduces some of the more popular robotics competitions for LEGO robotics.

It should, however, be noted that competitions may sometimes exclude students for whom competition is not appealing. In addition, more often than not, these inter-school competitions are self-selected, meaning that only students with an interest will participate. This may leave out students who are not (yet) hooked on robotics. Rusk, Resnick, Berg, and Pezalla-Granlund (2008) suggest that broadening the appeal of robotics is key to encouraging a wider range of students to explore STEM subjects and careers.

Major international competitions

In each of the following LEGO-based robotics competitions, teams typically participate in local regional events, with successful teams continuing to national and possibly international events.

ex0FnQB-sNd1tz5swSOOLEiZd2MCu0J-Fk5rY9t5Xb0FIRST LEGO League Challenge

The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is a competition for 9-16* year olds (the age limit varies by country). Each year in August, a new challenge is released. The challenge is based on a real-world scientific topic and has three parts: the Robot Game, the Innovation Project, and the FLL Core Values. Teams of up to ten children, with at least one adult coach (two coaches required in U.S./Canada), participate in the Challenge by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game), developing a solution to a problem they have identified (Innovation Project), all guided by the FLL Core Values.

RoboCup Junior


RoboCup Junior (RCJ) is a project-oriented educational robotics competition for school students up to age 19. It provides a hands-on, scaffolded environment where learners can grow by expanding their knowledge of, sparking their curiosity about, and increasing their comfort with technology. Teams work in a cooperative and supportive environment in one of three challenges: Dance, Rescue and Soccer. The focus of RoboCup Junior is the development of teamwork skills as well as technical skills in an environment of participation, fun, and excitement.

World Robot Olympiad

The World Robot Olympiad (WRO) brings together young people aged 8-19 years old from all over the world to develop their creativity, design & problem solving skills through challenging & educational robot competitions and activities. The WRO organizes robotics competitions in different competition categories.

Competition books

The following books are specifically written to support teams and their coaches/mentors.

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Wayne Burnett

Wayne Burnett

Wayne Burnett, Ed.D., is a Canadian father of two boys (both of whom used the Mindstorms NXT) who teaches at an international school in Malaysia. In addition to teaching robotics, ICT, and information literacy, Wayne has recently completed a doctoral dissertation on using the LEGO WeDo to teach science.
Wayne Burnett

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