Space: The Next Giant Step Kicks Off Ecobot Challenge 2019 Robotics Competition

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January 29, 2019 by HCDE-Texas

All-Earth Ecobot Challenge 2019 takes elementary students in grades fourth through sixth to the colonization of Mars and beyond through a robotics journey. The challenge reveal is held each year and kicks off the Ecobot Challenge. This year’s unveiling was delivered at Galena Park Independent School District on Jan. 26.

View the promo video about the 2019 challenge:

The competition for the elementary-level challenge will be held on April 27 at Berry Center, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, 8877 Barker Cypress Road.  An estimated 400 students will participate this year in 80 teams of 4 students. Students come from both public, private and home school environments.

The competition is funded through Harris County Department of Education and organized by HCDE’s Center for Afterschool, Summer and Enrichment for Kids, or CASE for Kids.

Using Lego Mindstorms robotic kits, students conquer the challenge table which is organized in quadrants. One quadrant has the robot orbiting Earth. The next requires a module landing, moon samples and planting the U.S. flag. On the third mission samples of Mars are collected, and the rover is repaired. Finally, Mars is colonized as kilopower panels, batteries, oxygen, water and food are provided. Asteroids are redirected. Bonus rounds include rocket launches.

The next practice day is set for Feb. 23 from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at Harris County Department of Education, 6300 Irvington.

Registration for the elementary challenge is open until April 5. Go to for more information and to register as a participant or volunteer.

A middle school challenge for seventh and eighth graders provides a drone competition on May 17 at Space Center Houston, 1601 E. Nasa Parkway, Houston. Practice day for that event is set for March 23 at HCDE. Registration for that event has closed.

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