Robotic Innovation Challenge
Every day we learn new skills and techniques and help solve problems for artists, makers, and entrepreneurs. Now it’s your turn to solve a real-world problem and make a difference!
How the Robotic Innovation Challenge works!
Are you ready to change the world—one idea at a time? Great! Let’s get started!
- Step 1: Think about the problems you encounter regularly.
- Step 2: Think about how you can solve the problem.
- Step 3: Apply your new skill to your solution.
- Step 4: Develop your solution & share it with the world!
- June 8-9 Registration
- June 9-14 Think about which problem you will solve—and how you will solve it.
- June 9 Robotics kits mailed.
- June 15-18 Robotics Lessons @ The Cyber Arena (See tab for dates & contact info.)
- June 24-25 Final Consultations @ The Cyber Arena
- June 26 Submissions due by midnight
- June 28 Judges Review submissions & select finalists
- June 29 Finalist projects announced
- June 30 1-4pm Virtual Pitch Competition & Awards Ceremony
The Rules & Guidelines
Students will design and create a robot that solves a real-world problem, in one of these categories: (a) Healthcare (b) Education (c) Social Justice. Students should select a problem that has not been solved yet or develop a solution that is more efficient.
Students will prepare an entrepreneurial pitch—like on Shark Tank—for presenting their idea and will create a video of themselves pitching and showcasing their invention. Videos should be approximately 3-5 minutes in length.
The competition is open to students in 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th grades.
Students can ONLY participate as a member of a team for the Robotic Innovation Challenge. Teams will be comprised of 2-5 members.
Students will learn about the Engineering Design Process and use it to define a problem, think of a solution, create a prototype using new skills, and finally submit a video pitch presenting their idea. Students will use the logbook template to record all of their ideas, questions, research, and results of the project. It is digital and easy to collaborate with team members.
Innovation Challenge Scoring Criteria
A team of jurors will review video presentations of each project and assign a score to each by scoring individual components of the scoring criteria below. The highest 5 overall scores will go on to a final round to present their projects virtually in front of a live panel of experts in innovation, entrepreneurship, and design.
Innovation (10 points)
- Originality/ Introduction of New Idea
- Critical Thinking
- Use of New Skill
Execution (10 points)
How well were the project and product executed?
- User experience
Relevance (10 points)
How well does this project solve a problem and how relevant is it?
- Solution adequately addresses a problem in one of the three Challenge categories
- Problem Selection: The team identified an unsolved or inadequately solved problem
- Impact/Solution has potential for impact
- Clearly communicates the problem
- Communicates how project solves a real problem
- Uses visual information to communicate to audience
- Creativity & design of video or presentation
- Overall communication and presentation skills (Team is prepared, thoughtful, and practiced in their presentation.)
The judges will select first, second, and third place winners in 3 different grade brackets:
- 4th & 5th
- 6th & 7th
The top 3 finalists in each bracket will receive Robotic Innovation Challenge winner t-shirts, laser-cut certificates of achievement
One grand prize winner will be awarded a trophy, a customized t-shirt of their new brand, and 3 hours of private instruction for their team to help develop their idea or skills further.
June 15-18 Virtual Robotics Lessons @ The Cyber Arena with Sandra Leiterman (Q&A timeslots)
- 15th: 4:00 pm
- 16th: 10:00 am
- 17th: 4:00 pm
- 18th: 10:00 am
June 24-25 Final consultations with Sandra
- 24: 10:00 am
- 25: 4:00 pm
Zoom Meeting Info:
- Meeting ID: 273 678 2380
- One tap mobile
- +16465588656,,2736782380# US (New York)
- +13017158592,,2736782380# US (Washington DC)
- Dial by your location
- +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
- +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
- +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
- +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
- +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
- +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
- Meeting ID: 273 678 2380
- Find your local number: https://ualr-edu.zoom.us/u/kcF2sruLlG
Students will use the logbook template to record all of their ideas, questions, research, and results of the project. It is digital and easy to collaborate with team members.
Use the Engineering Design Process to guide your project.
Follow this engineering process to research a problem, build and test your solution, and then share it with the world!
Students will learn about the Engineering Design Process and use it to define a problem, think of a solution, create a prototype using new skills, and finally submit a slideshow presentation for their idea. Students will use the logbook template to record all of their ideas, questions, research, and results of the project. It is digital and easy to collaborate with team members.
Solve the world’s problems like an engineer!
- Define the Problem: Look around and think about problems you see and experience in your everyday life. Select and define the problem you plan to solve in your digital logbook.
- Do Background Research: Find out existing solutions or attempts at solutions and think of how yours will be different. Be sure to paste titles and links of the resources you find into your logbook.
- Specify Requirements: What requirements do you need your project to have? Write them in your digital logbook.
- Brainstorm, Evaluate, and Choose Solution: Brainstorm possible solutions and choose one to try. Begin planning what skills and materials you will need to create a prototype. Write it all down in your digital logbook.
- Develop and Prototype Solution: Get your materials together and create a model of your idea.
- Test Solution: Test and Evaluate Prototype. Use your logbook to write your findings. Does your project meet the requirements you specified?
- Refine and Repeat Step 6 as necessary.
- Communicate Results: Design a presentation to communicate the results of your project.
Robotic Challenge Categories
Choose one of the following three categories to define your problem and develop a solution!
Many hospitals and nursing homes are understaffed. There is a critical shortage of healthcare workers in hospitals and nursing homes nationwide, especially in rural areas. Additionally, there is a shortage of primary care doctors in most of rural America.
Design a robot that can help ease the burden of stress and/or work overload in our healthcare system. Watch these videos for inspiration.
It is no secret that teachers are overworked and underpaid. There are many critical areas an average classroom teacher just cannot assist with. Students that do not speak English as their primary language, students with learning disabilities, and students who have to miss large amounts of school due to injury or illness.
Design a robot that can assist students in the school/learning environment. Watch these videos for inspiration.
The world is an unequal place. It means that not everybody has the same access to the same rights, opportunities, or quality of life. Though there are over 7 billion people in the world, if we think about it in terms of 100 people, here are some major social injustices:
- 86 people are able to read and write – 14 people cannot.
- Only 7 people have a college/university degree or diploma – 93 people do not.
- Only 40 people have an internet connection – 60 people do not.
- 78 people have a place to stay that protects them from wind and rain (a house, apartment etc) – 22 people do not.
- 91 people have access to safe drinking water – 9 people do not have a way to get clean water.
- 88 people would have enough good nutritious food to eat –
- 1 person would be dying from starvation.
- Another 11 people would be undernourished (they don’t have enough good food).
- 86 people can walk without assistance, 14 cannot
- 95 people can see (with or without glasses) 5 cannot
- 94 people can hear (with or without hearing aids) 6 cannot
Design a robot that can assist/help to eliminate one area of social inequality.
Overall Diversity Question:
Many Robots use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in their programming. However, there are race and gender issues in the algorithms. How will you be sure your robot does not have racial or gender bias?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can projects be created by a team? If so, how many to a team?
Teams are allowed. For the Innovation Challenge, teams should have no more than 5 students per team. This applies to all grades.
What should my project include?
Projects should include the criteria the judges will use to calculate scores—found in the scoring tab above. Follow the steps of the Engineering Design Process and record each step clearly in your digital logbook. Projects should also include a video pitch of your product as if you are an entrepreneur presenting your idea on Shark Tank.
How can I get help with my project?
Schedule a virtual consultation on June 15-18 or June 24-25.
What prizes are awarded to winners?
The judges will select first, second, and third place winners in 3 different grade brackets: 4th & 5th, 6th & 7th, 8th. The top 3 finalists in each bracket will receive Innovation Challenge winner t-shirts, laser-cut certificates of achievement
One grand prize winner in each bracket will be awarded a trophy, a customized t-shirt of their new brand, and 3 hours of private instruction for their team to help develop their idea or skills further.
Do participants who don't win get anything?
Participants will receive their robotics kit and get to keep their invention. The Innovation Hub will also award a challenge coin to every student who participates as an individual or team that submits a finished project.
How do I submit my project?
Your completed logbook must be ready at the time you submit your project. Answer the questions in the submission form and attach your logbook to the form.
Can team members be in different grades?
Yes. Select the high grade level in your team when submitting your project.
Do we get to keep our robot and robotics kit?
- 9AM to 5PM on Mon/Wed/Fri
- 9AM to 7PM on Tue/Thu