It’s one thing to program and build a robot; it’s another thing to do it as a team. This statewide event is an opportunity for youth enrolled in 4-H robotics to demonstrate their learning, celebrate their accomplishments, and interact with others who share an interest in robotics. Robotics clubs may compete as a team in the annual State 4-H Robotics Competition. The contest tests a club’s ability to work together creatively to solve a set of tasks. 

2019 Illinois 4-H Robotics Challenge: STEMbot

This year’s challenge revolves around one of the largest and fastest growing professional sectors in the world...STEM! With major organizations estimating that between 2018 and 2028, the number of STEM jobs will increase by 13% as opposed to 9% for non-STEM jobs, it is critical that youth begin to build the skills and knowledge needed to occupy these positions. Additionally, the US will need an additional 1,000,000+ STEM professionals over the next 10 years than we are currently projected to produce. For these reasons, each task this year will revolve around STEM related fields and concepts, and will help illuminate some of the work that STEM professionals do.



CLICK HERE to download the updated complete set of rules and guidelines (2.4.19 Update). A simple Update Overview can be downloaded HERE.

Volunteers Needed

This is one of the largest single day events that we host so we need several youth volunteers and judges to help things run smoothly. All volunteers will receive a light breakfast, as well as lunch and refreshments throughout the day. This year we are looking to have ALL judging done by the youth under the direction of the Game Design Committee. We hope to identify multiple FTC/FRC/Former 4-H Robotics teams to volunteer as judges. If you know of others who would be able to judge or volunteer that day, please forward this email to them. All volunteers and judges will need to be at the Interstate Center that day no later than 7:30 AM. Judges pre-meeting will be held at 8 AM at the same time as registration begins. Awards will be at 4:30 PM with the event concluding around 5 PM.


  • Volunteers should be between 13 and 21 years old, capable pre-teens may be considered.
  • Experience in 4-H, FTC, and FRC is preferred.


  • Volunteers should be over 13, capable pre-teens may be considered.


  • Table Judges (16): These judges score each of the table runs made by the participating teams.
  • Design Judges (12): These judges assess the technical aspects of each teams robot, including design decisions and code used.
  • Teamwork Judges (12): These judges will be responsible for assessing participants on an unknown task and be evaluating them based on their ability to work as a team.
  • Data Input Volunteers (10): These individuals will be responsible for transposing the handwritten scoresheets to the online scoresheet.
  • Registration Volunteers (7): These individuals will be responsible for registering teams once doors open at the Interstate Center.
  • General Volunteers (10-15): These individuals will be responsible for helping out with general questions and tasks as they arise throughout the day.
  • STEM Activity Leader/Volunteers (8-10): These individuals would be tasked with running a STEM based activity or station during the competition hours (10A.M.-3:00P.M.)



Contest Divisions 

Teams will compete in three events: 1) Table Performance Judging, 2) Technical Judging, and 3) Teamwork Judging. Due to the size of the event, Technical and Teamwork judging will be a single 30 minute combined judging session with Teamwork and Technical judges observing both. This year, a newly formatted Teamwork Judging section replaces last year’s Project Judging section.


Teams will have until May 11, 2019 to design and program a robot that is able to complete as much of the STEMbot Challenge as possible. This challenge covers information contained in the 4-H Robotics Platforms curriculum. It is not expected that teams will achieve perfect scores in the Performance Judging, but rather that team members design a robot and program that reflects their current level of learning. The challenge is designed to be open-ended and includes a lot of room for creativity. See Contest Rules for COMPLETE GUIDELINES.


A team may provide a demonstration of the robot and its program to the judges. Teams will be allowed to bring their field into the judging room, however robot tables will not be provided so the field will need to be set up on the floor. If your team decides to do a presentation, it should be at the beginning of the session. Only team members are allowed in the judging room, no coaches, parents or siblings. This requirement is primarily a space issue – up to six teams will be in each judging room.

The judges will wish to view your team’s robot and ask you about its design. YOUR TEAM SHOULD BRING CODE DOCUMENTATION FOR YOUR STEMBOT. CLICK HERE  to see the video at this link for tips on printing programs for an NXT robot (very similar for EV3 Robots). 

The team members should answer the judges’ questions. For the robot design judging, points will be awarded based on assessment of the teams’ technical understanding and not on the performance of their robot.


This year, Teamwork judging will replace last year’s Project judging. This portion of the competition will challenge each team to work together for a common goal. The goal will not be announced until the actual judging session for your team. This section will force you and your teammates to adapt to something new, and effectively communicate as a team. This section is designed to assess your team’s ability to work together and stay level headed as you work through a difficult task.

Don't forget to join the Illinois 4-H Robotics Facebook page to connect with hundreds of robotics members, coaches and families, and to receive instant updates about upcoming robotics events!


Participation is open to all 4-H members and participants do not need to be selected in a county competition prior to the state competition.

Program Areas
Event Date(s)