TCEA Robotics

When are the important dates for TCEA Robotics?

August: Arena challenge released

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?

THE NUMBERS 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 Category Max (2-4 Students per team)  

What equipment and associated fees are needed for each team?


SPIKE Prime (shipping begins early 2020)

  • 1 LEGO SPIKE Prime Core Set $329.95 – The software, included, is Windows 10, Mac, Chrome, iOS, and Android compatible.
  • 1 LEGO SPIKE Prime Expansion Set $99.95 (helpful but not necessary)
  • 1 Contest Registration fee $50.00 ($70 for State if advancing)


  • 1 5003400 LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set $411.95 – The software, included, is Windows, Mac, Chromebook and iOS compatible.
  • 1 45560 LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Expansion Set $109.95 (helpful but not necessary)
  • 1 Contest Registration fee $50.00 ($70 for State if advancing)

MINDSTORMS NXT (Allowed, not available for purchase)

  • 1 LEGO MINDSTORMS Education NXT Base Set
  • 1 LEGO MINDSTORMS Resource Set
  • 1 LEGO MINDSTORMS Education NXT or EV3 Software (backwards compatible)
  • 1 Contest Registration fee $50.00 ($70 for State if advancing)

Additional Items for Arena Teams

  • 1 Race Against Time Mat $55.00
  • Game Pieces – vary each year (Past examples: Tuna cans, Big Red sodas, golf practice balls, Spam, 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.  

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?

TechEdge Magazine: Robotics TechEdge, TCEA’s quarterly magazine, is a resource-rich publication for educators using technology to innovate and inspire. Each issue, Director of Professional Development and robotics specialist Peggy Reimers shares her insights and adventures. Read some of Peggy’s best articles.

  • Robotics on Wheels (November 2015)
  • Robotics at the Rodeo (May 2016)
  • Robotics Contest Rules (August 2016)

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.

 ED TECH CLUB – A tcea PODCAST – Supporting Students with Robotics | Ep. 2 

Does TCEA offer training for robotics sponsors and coaches?

TCEA offers professional development in robotics for educators via webinars, face-to-face workshops and onsite learning events. Learning opportunities grow as the need arises.

  • Introduction to EV3 LEGO Robotics, face-to-face
  • Introduction to WeDo LEGO Robotics, face-to-face
  • Introduction to NXT LEGO Robotics, face-to-face
  • Engage, Enrich, and Empower with EV3 Robotics, face-to-face
  • Beyond the Basics: Intermediate Programming with EV3, face-to-face
  • What Else Can You Do with a WeDo, webinar
  • Tips and Tricks for Arena Contest, webinar
  • Tips and Tricks for Inventions Contest, webinar
  • Mission Possible: Robotics (a week long summer training)
Whom should I contact about TCEA Robotics?


Peggy Reimers, TCEA Director of Professional Development
[email protected]


Katie Treat, TCEA Executive Assistant
[email protected]

How do I order LEGO equipment?

Betty Justus, LEGO Education 
[email protected]

Jeff Coe, LEGO Education
[email protected]

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