University of Maryland Extension




Maryland State 4-H Robotics Challenge

The Maryland State 4-H Robotics Challenge provides the opportunity for  members to participate in an organized statewide robotics activity.  Members in  each county will form teams that will build robots to perform specific tasks.  The county teams will then have the opportunity to compete at the Maryland State Fair.  The Challenge will be divided into two divisions:  the LEGO Challenge and the Robotic Engineering Challenge.  Each of the divisions will be broken down into age divisions.  Both  divisions will have a Jr. Division (8-11), Intermediate Division (11-13) and a Senior Division (14-18). Mixed age teams will be allowed and will participate in the age division of the oldest member on the team.  Teams in the LEGO division will have from 3-8 members and teams in the Robotic Engineering teams will have 2-4 member.  The Robotics Challenges will be released each year on February1st.

The Maryland 4-H Robotics Forum is live! Click to join the conversation at:  

Have questions? Looking for help troubleshooting problems with building your robots or the field components? The 4-H Robotics Team is here to help. Sign up for a free account and ask away. 4-H members and leaders will be able to have full conversations, share information and ideas with each other, and have greater collaboration on how to best tackle this year's 4-H Robotics challenges. Take a look!

Maryland State 4-H Lego Challenge

The LEGO Challenge will have members build robots using the LEGO Mindstorms NXT and LEGO parts.  The challenge will be run on a 4’ X 4’ table.  The robots will be required to start in a home base area and then travel autonomously through out the board completing predetermined tasks.  The  NXT robots will be preprogrammed utilizing  icon based programming software.  The robots will score points as they compete task with in a 2 minute 30 second time frame.  Teams will complete three rounds with their best score counting toward their final score.

The LEGO Challenge will also require the team to present a technical presentation to a panel of judges.  The teams will explain how their robot and attachment work and how they worked together to complete the challenge.

A third component of the LEGO Challenge is the community service project.  Each season the LEGO Challenge will have a theme.  The team will be asked to develop a service project that supports the theme.  The team will do a visual presentation for a panel of judges explaining their service project.

The final score for each team will be based on combination of the best robot round, technical presentation and service project

4-H Robotics Engineering Challenge

The Robotic Engineering Challenge will have members building larger robots up to 18”X18”X18” which will compete on a 12’ X 12’ playing field.  The robot can be constructed from a variety of robotic platforms including but not limited to VEX, Tetrix, or LEGOs.  The challenge will change every year.  The first 30 seconds of the challenge will be performed by the robots autonomously.  The final 2 minutes will be diver controlled through wireless controls.

Teams will also interview with a panel of judges answering questions about their robot construction, team work and community activities.  The winning Senior team will be eligible to represent Maryland at the National 4-H Engineering Challenge.

2019 Maryland 4-H Lego Robotics Challenge Documents: 

2019 Maryland 4-H Robotics Engineering Challenge Documents: 

Cows, Combines and Robots 


As visitors to the Maryland State Fair strolled through the Cow Palace on Sunday, August 26th, they saw cattle shows, a large combine and robotics competitions. While the robotics competition may seem like an odd fit for the Cow Palace, the robotics competition fits the age-old model of the 4-H members participating in fairs. 4-H members participating in the robotics competition build robots to do the yearly challenge much like how a 4-H member would raise a steer, hog, or lamb for the shows.  


In 2018, 4-H members participated in two divisions of the 4-H Robotics Challenge. In the LEGO Robotics Challenge, members built and programmed robots using LEGO Mindstorms to do a variety of tasks on a 4’ X 4’ playing field. The second division is the Robotics Engineering Challenge (REC). This division has 4-H members building a larger robot that must fit inside an 18” cube that competes on a 12’ X 12’ playing field. The game for the robots change every year. 2018's theme was “First Responders,” including Police, Emergency Medical Staff, and Fire-Fighters. The missions highlighted the important and often dangerous activities that are performed by our nation’s First Responders. The robots missions represent two real-world scenarios that First Responders face on a daily basis: House fires and traffic accidents.


In addition to building robots, teams were to do a service project about these important roles. Teams not only compete on the robot playing field, but also do a presentation on building their robot, and a presentation on their service project. The scores in these three areas determine the winners in each of the age divisions.

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