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ARE YOU READY TO CHANGE THE WORLD?
Join our Summer Robotics Challenge!


The Arkansas Out of School Network is hosting its first robotics competition in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education Office of Computer Science and the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub for students grades four through eight. Micro-grants up to $1,000 are available from AOSN to subsidize startup costs associated with the purchase of robotics equipment for up to 15 summer learning programs.  
 

As part of the challenge, students will learn about the engineering design process and use it to define a problem, think of a solution and create a prototype using new skills. Students are expected to design and create a robot that solves a real world problem, in regards to Healthcare, Education or Social Justice. Students will also submit a video of an entrepreneurial pitch presenting their idea and showcasing their invention. Videos should be approximately 3-5 minutes in length. 
 
Students in grades 4th-8th are encouraged to participate either as individuals or as teams up to five. Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub staff will schedule lessons with all participating teams June 15-18. All submissions will be due by June 26th. The virtual pitch competition and awards ceremony will be held on the afternoon of June 30th. 
 
Judges will select first, second, and third place winners in 3 different grade brackets: 4th & 5th, 6th & 7th, 8th. The top three finalists in each bracket will receive Innovation Challenge t-shirts and laser-cut certificates. One grand prize winner in each bracket will be awarded a trophy, a customized t-shirt of their new brand, and three hours of private instruction for their team to help develop their idea or skills further.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

How the Robotic Innovation Challenge works!

Welcome Students! Are you ready to change the world—one idea at a time? Great! Let’s get started!

First, make sure you are registered. Then watch the video. Our team will explain the four basic steps of the challenge. 

  • Step 1: Think about the problems you encounter regularly.

  • Step 2: Think about how you can solve the problem.

  • Step 3: Apply your new robotics skills to your solution.

  • Step 4: Develop your solution & share it with the world!

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.  Attempted problems should be ones that are previously unsolved or not adequately solved problems. 

 

Students will prepare an entrepreneurial pitch--like on Shark Tank--for presenting their idea and will create a video of themselves performing the pitch and showcasing their invention. Videos should be approximately 3-5 minutes in length. 

 

Eligibility

The competition is open to students in 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. 

Teams

Students can participate as individuals or in teams for the Robotics Innovation Challenge. Teams of up to 5 students can participate in the challenge.

Process

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)

  • Creativity 

  • Originality/ Introduction of New Idea 

  • Critical Thinking 

  • Use of New Skill 

 

Execution (10 points)

How well were the project and product executed?

  • Design 

  • Function

  • 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 categories

  • Problem Selection / Has identified an unsolved problem or inadequately solved problem

  • Impact / Solution has potential for impact 

Presentation (10 points)

  • 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/ has clearly practiced for the presentation 

Clearly communicates how the design will overcome gender/race bias. 

The Prizes

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 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.

Logbook
Logbook

Engineering Design Process

 

Solve the world’s problems like an engineer! 

  1. Brainstorm 

    1. Brainstorm a list of problems you encounter or problems you’ve thought of that you might want to solve… big or small.

  2. Define the problem

    1. Go back to your Log book where you wrote your brainstorm list of problems. 

    2. Select and define the problem you plan to solve in your digital log book.

  3. Do background research

    1. Talk to people and look online to find existing attempts at solving the problem and think of how yours will be different. 

    2. Record notes from your research.

  4. Specify Requirements. What requirements do you need your project to have?

    1. Use your digital log book and complete the following tasks:

      1. Go back to your problem and write it down again

      2. Look at some of the existing products or solutions you found during research.

      3. List qualities of those products or solutions and describe how they are used and why they don’t solve the problem you are trying to solve.

      4. Describe who will use your product (target user)

      5. Now identify what your product or idea must have in order to solve the problem. 

  5. Solutions

    1. Brainstorm possible solutions and choose one to try. 

    2. Begin planning what skills and materials you will need to create a prototype. 

    3. You will probably want to do some sketches to include in your log book.

  6. Test and Evaluate Prototype

    1. Use your log book to write your findings. Does your project meet the requirements you specified?

Videos:

Problem Solving

BUDDY : Your Family’s Companion Robot - Multi-language

What is a Robot? Real life robots

Healthcare: 

The Problem: 

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

Can Robots take care of the elderly?

Hospital Robot: The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation

 

Education:

The Problem:

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:

 

Robots in the classroom push boundaries of education

Tega, the new robot in school

Social Justice: 

The Problem:

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. 

Watch these videos for inspiration:

Robot in India built to help with water shortage

Robot Helps Children with Disabilities

Robotic Pants Could Offer Mobility for the Disabled

Tackling world hunger with robots 

 

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?

For more information watch this video: New Innovations in AI

 

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 and video 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?

Yes.