4-H Robotics Project

The Boone County 4-H Robotics Project is designed to provide 4-Hers an opportunity to develop skills in the area of robotics. Participants will have the opportunity to challenge themselves as a member of a team by planning, fabricating, and programming/controlling a robot to accomplish a designated task.

Project Goals

  • Learn to work in a team setting
  • Learn to use engineering design principles to develop a robot that is capable of executing a specific task (or tasks) in the most efficient way possible. In order to do this, a cycle of steps will be used that include planning the initial design, fabrication based on the initial design, testing the design, modifying it to make improvements, and then testing again.

Group Organization - This project is structured so that the 4-Hers are a company. They learn the dynamics of serving a role, and having individual responsibility while also contributing to the larger team. The early sessions teach about the various roles and “company” departments, and then they settle into a core role, while having a voice in the overall project. Most of the roles are tied to the Lego Robotics content, but some are for marketing, organization, and research, thus anyone can find a role to be a contributor, regardless of their skills with Lego Robotics.

Alternate Weekly Sessions - Our group will meet regularly to learn basic skills while also working towards the county presentation. Each gathering will have a portion of time training on a particular tool or technique. The sessions close to the county fair will be devoted entirely to finalization. After the county fair, and before the state competition we will have some simple readiness training.

Main Group Project - A single robotic system that is entirely owned by the group. They select the idea, encouraged to be in alignment with some contribution to the 4-H community. They divide the project into sections, and work to bring the related parts to one complete, and functional system. As a “business unit” they think about marketing, satisfaction of a customer (role typically played by one of our adult volunteers) and seek input from outside consultants (the project leaders). It is important that this project is their creation, their pride, their schedule awareness, and their success and fail – all of which are great learning opportunities. Not a cookie cutter step by step exercise. Of course the leaders help to steer their efforts, and help to coach on the proper roles (i.e. is an effective company president a dictator or a coach?) This is presented at County Fair, typically on Family Day. Each 4-Her will contribute with public speaking, and hosting visitors to our exhibits for the day.

State Competition - As a fun conclusion to the project we get to test our skills and compete at the Indiana 4-H State Competition. This is a completely optional, but very fun, and a tremendous way to conclude the season with accomplishment and bonding. Typically a one day event. Scheduled day varies year to year, and may or may not be at or during the State Fair.

exhibit guidelines

Project Records 

  • Maintain a scientific journal. Ideas, observations, and planning notes and sketches should be written in this journal. Will require a summary statement of their activity and accomplishments following every gathering


  • Participate in learning activities for key areas of Lego robotics, and complete related activities. These will be easily accomplished through good attendance at the regular meeting sessions
    • Programming a Lego Brain – the difference between a machine and a robot
    • Building with Lego Technic pieces - for structural durability
    • Sensor utilization - the inputs for making robot decisions
    • Motors and Gearing – Effective movement essential to operation
    • Teaching – A great way to learn. Be the teacher to someone else for one of the above
  • Be a contributor. Not simply attendance, we seek growth of the individual, and merits of the effort, not simply who works hard and talks a lot


  • Research related technology that supports the main project in a tangential way. This helps tell a larger story of the specific project


  • Exhibiting at the 4-H Fair will consist of demonstrate their skills and knowledge in a public demonstration