Top Robotics Competitions for Kids
Robotics competitions and STEAM competitions are becoming more and more popular. They exist for kids of all ages who are interested in the challenge of designing robots that can complete certain tasks. There are even opportunities to compete in local, regional, or national and international competitions. We’ll focus mostly on high school competitions here, so keep reading to learn more about all the benefits and options!
Why Should You Enter a Robotics & STEAM Competition?
1. Improve STEAM Skills
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) may sound like a list of school subjects, but it’s also about the skills kids strengthen while they experiment within these fields. To successfully build a robot that can complete required tasks, kids engage in critical and innovative thinking as they learn more about STEAM topics. They also learn to communicate and work with others as they solve problems through trial and error.
2. Make New Friends
Kids interested in robotics or STEAM competitions have different strengths and weaknesses, but they share a common interest. When they find people who love the same things they do, kids grow their peer groups, social skills, and their confidence. They make new friends and build strong ties through the successes and failures that go along with robotics competitions.
3. Enjoy a Nontraditional Team Activity
The average person might consider sports to be a “traditional” team activity, but not every kid is interested in sports practices and competitions. Robotics and STEAM competitions provide the benefits of being on a team, just with robots and tools instead of sports equipment. Kids still learn cooperation, leadership, emotional regulation, and how to work through the highs and lows of competition.
4. Earn Scholarships
The skills kids learn through STEAM and robotics can help prepare them for their futures and sometimes really pay off. Several robotics competitions offer their own scholarships, which can be a great reward for lots of hard work. It’s also nice for helping make college a little more affordable. Some universities and private companies even offer their own scholarships for robotics.
Top 5 Robotics Competitions for Students
1. B.E.S.T Robotics Design Contest
Ever wonder what high schoolers can do with a box of materials and six weeks? The B.E.S.T. Robotics Design Contest is a great way to find out. Teams must design a robot that can successfully complete a set of tasks within a time limit, and they’ll compete against each other.
2. Botball Educational Robotics Program
The Botball Educational Robotics Program challenges high schoolers to use coding and other complex AI (artificial intelligence) strategies to create an autonomous robot. They only get about seven weeks to get their robot ready to compete against other teams.
3. FIRST: Robotics Competition
For the FIRST robotics competition, teams design an industrial-sized robot. If that seems like a big task, so is the rest of what comes along with the challenge: teams work with professional mentors, do community outreach and fundraising, and compete in a head-to-head field game.
4. FIRST: Tech Challenge
Teams for the FIRST Tech challenge can have as many as 15 students. There’s a reusable robot kit they can use to create a robot that will be able to compete in an alliance format challenge, and they work with adult coaches and mentors to help them.
5. National Robotics Challenge
The National Robotics Challenge doesn’t require specific materials or a kit, and students get to build a robot that can compete in challenges like a maze and rescue. Plus, the contest isn’t just for high schoolers; college and graduate students can participate, too.
Top 6 STEAM Competitions for Students
1. VEX Robotics
The VEX Robotics Competition is the largest and fastest growing robotics program, with more than 20,000 teams from 50 countries playing in over 1,700 competitions worldwide. It provides schools and students with an affordable, education-based platform and competition experience that inspires and creates interest in STEAM fields.
2. International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition
The iGem competition is great for high schoolers who are focused on the science component of STEAM. It’s for students interested in biology and tasks them with using BioBricks to build genetically engineered systems that make positive contributions to the world.
3. TEAMS Competition
Students complete engineering challenges that are based in real life, and they also have to complete multiple choice questions, an essay, and a design build. Ultimately, TEAMS motivates students to use engineering-related skills to give back to their communities.
4. Technology Student Association Competitions
There are various challenges associated with TSA. It brings students together as they participate in activities related to animation, architectural design, and coding. A great bonus is that students can network with tech’s emerging leaders.
5. Toshiba/NSTA Exploravision
Toshiba/NSTA Exploravision will get students thinking about the impact certain technologies can have on our lives in the future. In small teams, students research the technology, write a paper, and create web pages that share their vision for the future.
Why MakeX is a Top Robotics & STEAM Competition?
What is MakeX:
Our vision at Makeblock is to help more people enjoy creating while having fun. In 2017, we launched our MakeX Robotics Competition to fit within our goals and to expand STEAM learning around the globe. Everything we do encourages kids to see their ideas become a reality as they expand their education and skills.
Why MakeX is a Top Robotics & STEAM Competition?
MakeX is so much more than just a robotics competition. Students integrate the many fields of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) into challenges that are exciting for all participants. We have opportunities for students of all ages and levels. For example, our four programs range from the MakeX Spark for kids ages 6-18 with online and offline platforms that help reduce cost, to the MakeX Premiere for kids ages 14-18 that is highly competitive and challenging. Each year, the themes for the four programs change, allowing for new thinking.
But we also foster a competitive spirit that isn’t just about winning, and that’s part of why we are a top robotics and STEAM competition. The core values of MakeX are Creativity, Teamwork, Fun, and Sharing. Ultimately, this is how we can work to achieve the goal of building a world that is passionate about STEAM:
1.Creativity: New ideas and new skills are the foundation of innovative thinking. As kids learn to be creative, they also learn how to solve real-world problems in new and beneficial ways.
2. Teamwork: It’s important for MakeX participants to work together with open communication and collaboration. They can build off of each other’s strengths and knowledge to effectively and efficiently complete a task.
3. Fun: The problem-solving process isn’t always easy, but it can be fun, and that’s exactly what Makeblock’s MakeX competition wants students to learn.
4. Sharing: Sharing is about having an open mind, and this is a really important skill for students who are interested in “Making.” Sometimes you have something to give, and sometimes you need to receive a little boost.
Aside from our exciting and inviting competitive spirit, MakeX is a top robotics and STEAM competition because it engages participants from all over the world. We’ve seen impressive involvement from over 60 countries and 150 cities, with over 10,000 teams and 45,000 players participating in competitions and our STEAM Carnival. Additionally, over 20 million people have viewed the MakeX Robotics Competition online, proving it to be a true international STEAM venture.
Makeblock is committed to bringing the best of STEAM to kids around the world, and we’re accomplishing that with MakeX. Our participants improve their knowledge and skills so that they, and the globe, have better futures. Visit our MakeX official website to learn more.
STEAM Toys for Competitions
mBot is an ideal educational robot toy for beginners, children, or adults, to build with and code. It has four expansion ports and can connect to more than 100 types of electronic modules. This makes it possible for users to create hundreds of different “robots.” With mBot, coding for kids can become a play time by simply dragging, dropping, and combining command blocks using the Makeblock app.
2. mBot Ultimate
mBot Ultimate by Makeblock is an advanced programmable robot kit that is more suitable for kids aged 14-16 years old who have some basic knowledge of coding and robotics. The kit consists of over 550 mechanical parts and provides a comprehensive range of features. The kit also includes 10 custom robots that genuinely make the possibilities for maker combinations infinite—everything a kid needs to make their ideas come alive.