TCEA Robotics

When are the important dates for TCEA Robotics?

August: Arena challenge released

November – December: Sponsors register their teams online

January: Area contests

February: Wildcard teams announced

March/April: Sponsors register teams advancing to state

April/May: State contest

How many sponsors, divisions, teams, and students are allowed?

1 Sponsor: May depend on the number of teams. Each sponsor must be a TCEA member. Each team needs one sponsor, but a sponsor may lead more than one team.

4 Contest Divisions: Advanced Arena, Advanced Inventions, Intermediate Arena, Intermediate Inventions

3 Teams per division, per campus (2-4 students per team)  

What equipment and associated fees are needed for each team?


LEGO Education SPIKE Prime

  • 1 SPIKE Prime Core Set $339.95 – The software, included, is Windows 10, Mac, Chrome, iOS, and Android compatible.
  • 1 SPIKE Prime Expansion Set $109.95 (helpful but not necessary)


  • 1 Robot Inventor Set $359.95 – The app, included, is Windows 10, Mac, Fire, iOS, and Android compatible.

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 (Retired – Not available for purchase)

LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT (Allowed in inventions only. Retired – Not available for purchase)


  • 1 VEQ IQ Super Kit $379.00 – The software, included, is Windows 10, Mac, Chrome, iOS, and Android compatible.
  • 1 VEQ IQ Competition Add-on Kit $114.99 (helpful but not necessary)

Additional Items for Arena Teams

  • 1 Race Against Time Mat $70.00
  • Game Pieces Kit $12.00 – vary each year (Past examples: cotton balls, LEGO bricks, straws, PVC couplers, and checkers)
  • Arena Contest Frame – The playing field used in the arena competition is an 4-by-8-foot wooden frame designed to keep the robots from leaving the field of play. Step-by-step building instructions are included in the Arena Challenge documentation. In talking with many sponsors, these are the tips you might take heed of if you plan on building a practice frame: Build a half frame (4’x4’), which is much easier to store and transport. Buy more than the suggested 50 #10 wood screws.  
  • 1 Contest Registration fee $50.00 (plus $70 for State if advancing)

Where can I get more information, find training opportunities, and connect with other sponsors?

TCEA Robotics Website:

ROBO-SIG: Connect with other sponsors, find and share resources. Guarantees you access into the TCEA Social Community Robo-SIG Group.

Contest Forum: Have an Inventions or Arena question? TCEA Robotics Community

Where can I read more about TCEA robotics?

TechNotes Blog Posts: Robotics TechNotes is TCEA’s popular blog, offering posts from TCEA board, staff, and members on a range of timely and relevant topics. Sign up to receive the TechNotes newsletter to ensure you are getting the best news and content from TCEA.


Does TCEA offer training for robotics sponsors and coaches?

TCEA offers professional development in robotics for educators virtually, face-to-face, online courses, and onsite learning events.

Whom should I contact about TCEA Robotics?


Peggy Reimers, TCEA Director of Professional Development


Katie Treat, TCEA Executive Assistant

How do I order LEGO equipment?

Kim Kieschnick, LEGO Education

Jeff Coe, LEGO Education

Who can I contact and where can I find out more about VEQ IQ resources?

Andy Schaafs, Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation

VEX IQ Getting Started Guide
VEX IQ Parts Poster
VEX IQ Knowledge Base