This weekend, over 300 Harris County students in grades 4-8 will participate in the 13th annual All-Earth Ecobot Challenge at North School High School hosted by the Center for Afterschool, Summer and Enrichment for Kids (CASE for Kids), a division of the Harris County Department of Education.

The hands-on, project-based competition motivates students to solve challenges based on real-world environmental issues using LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Core robotics kits. Students have been designing, building, and coding their autonomous robots since last fall.

Over 50 student teams from Aldine, Alief, Cleveland, Galena Park, Houston, and Humble ISDs, Academy of Accelerated Learning and Beatrice Mays Institute charter schools will compete for top honors and cash prizes during the all-day event. Industry professionals will judge the competition.

This year’s theme, “Ecobot Kingdom: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink,” will challenge students to imagine life in a self-sufficient town using green and alternative technologies. On challenge day, teams will earn points on the game board by programming their robots to complete tasks tied to three main functions:

  • Ecobot Architect – students will be challenged to build a mini house made of recycled and upcycled materials
  • Ecobot Ew! – students will be challenged to reuse and repurpose compost, food scraps, and animal waste
  • Eco-tricity – students will be challenged to harvest and activate thermal, wind, solar, and nuclear energy to power the Ecobot Kingdom

The event includes the Eco-Genius Lab staffed by CASE for Kids collaborators, including Baker Hughes, Consumer Energy Education Foundation, Mad Science of Houston, SPDF Kids, and Math-A-Matics Tutoring. At the Eco-Genius Lab, professionals will conduct real-world science, technology, engineering, and math demonstrations.

WHO:CASE for Kids Director Lisa Caruthers, Ecobot lead teacher and game designer Joe Panietz, STEM professionals, educators, and over 300 Harris County fourth- through eighth-graders
WHEN:Saturday, April 23, 2022
8:30 a.m.Opening ceremony
9:15 a.m.Practice rounds/Recycled costume contest*Media Availability
10:15 a.m.Round 1
11:30 a.m.Lunch
12:30 p.m.Round 2
2 p.m.Round 3
4 p.m.Awards Presentation
WHERE:North Shore Senior High School353 North Castlegory Rd., Houston, TX 77049