Missouri 4-H STEM Extravaganza

Missouri 4-H STEM Extravaganza

May 1, 2021 — We hope that in-person events will be possible but will continue to monitor and follow University of Missouri guidelines as we approach the event date.


The Missouri 4-H STEM Extravaganza will allow 4-H members in the Robotics and Computer Science projects an opportunity to showcase the skills they have gained in teamwork, engineering, programming, and problem solving. There will be a few contests: Autonomous tennis Ball Collector (AtBC), Robot Exhibition, Scratch Google Doodle, and STEM Projects Exhibition. Robot platforms include Lego Mindstorms, VEX IQ/EDR/V5, or any other appropriate robot meeting the requirements of the challenges. Interviews are part of the challenges. Participants may also have an educational display and/or demonstration. Each individual and/or team will have a pit area to collaborate, program, and maintain robots as necessary.

This event is sponsored by Missouri 4-H and MFA Incorporated.

Investigate STEM Contest


  1. Develop effective written and verbal communication skills via project presentation.
  2. Increase youth interest in STEM careers, as documented by participant responses in pre- and post-assessments.
  3. Collaborate with University of Missouri faculty to build and maintain relationships with colleagues across the campus.


  • Animal and Plant Sciences — Participants should engage in agricultural science topics related to animal production, biotechnology, crop/forage production, horticulture, and food and consumer science.
  • Natural Resources, Environmental Sciences, and Energy — Participants should explore issues related to environment sustainability, alternative energy production, and conserving natural resources.
  • Engineering and Technology — Explore the areas of robotics, computer science, rocketry, and engineering to provide solutions to everyday problems.
  • Other — This category is for projects that do not fall clearly into one of the previous divisions.


  • Enroll in program via 4-HOnline – STEM Extravaganza – Investigate STEM Contest.
  • Youth can compete either individually or form a team (minimum of 3, maximum of 4) sorted by age division:
    • Senior: 14–18
    • Intermediate: 11–13
  • Identify problem/question to be research
  • Design and conduct experiment, analyze data, and create final report and presentation with the aid of an adult mentor.

Investigate STEM Contest Resources

STEM Extravaganza Challenges


Registration is open March 1 through 4HOnline and will close on April 10. The challenge is open to Missouri 4-H members. There is no requirement to qualify at a local robotics event.

This is an individual or team challenge: youth may be part of a team of 2–5 youth in the same age division. There is a participant fee of $10 per youth; with $5 entry fee per youth per challenge entered. Credit card payment preferred with cash or check payments made to the county of 4-H enrollment.

Registration is available through 4HOnline.

Youth will register individually and will compete as individuals or on a team in the same age division. They will identify the team members when they register (each youth will do this). Team members must be in the same age division. Participants must be 4-H age of 8–18 as of Jan. 1, 2020. Age divisions: junior (8–10), intermediate (11–13), and senior (14–18).


Memorial Union
518 Hitt St, Columbia, MO 65201
GPS coordinates: 38.945022, -92.325308

Tentative schedule

9 a.m.–9:30 a.m. Check-in
9:15 a.m.–10 a.m. Individuals and Teams set up pits
10 a.m. Contests and exhibitions begin
12:30 p.m. Lunch break


Awards are provided by the MFA Incorporated. Team members will receive medals based on placing in the contests. Every participant will receive a ribbon. There are no premiums.

Overview of Challenges

  • Show/Hide

    Autonomous tennis Ball Collector (AtBC)

    Date TBD as part of Show Me Mizzou Day

    Open to all age divisions

    Your mission is to develop an autonomous robot that will collect tennis balls on Tennis Court Table and put them into a Ball Box. Points are earned based on number of balls in the box, inside the Box Fence, on the robot, or outside the Tennis Court Table. Additional points will be earned if Trash Bottles are moved completely off the Tables. All the tasks should be done completely autonomously within 2 minutes without any external help. The procedure on how to end a Game is unveiled on the competition day. Any robot kits may be used.

    Additional resources to help with the challenge and programming can be found at the robofest.net website.

    A video workshop, Powerpoint slides, and examples for coding can be found under Lego EV3 Game Workshop Materials or Robot Mesh Studio Software & Workshop Materials for the 2018 Spring.

    AtBC - Autonomous tennis Ball Collector rules (PDF)

  • Show/Hide

    Scratch Google Doodle Contest

    Open to all age divisions

    As part of the Computer Science Pathways grant to Missouri 4-H, there will be a virtual contest to create a Google Doodle using Scratch. This is open to each age division. Creations will be uploaded for judging and displayed during the contest day. The project entries may be created by individuals or teams. Youth entering the Google Doodle Scratch Contest do not have to be present at the contest.

    Scratch Google Doodle Contest complete rules (PDF)

  • Show/Hide

    Robot Exhibition

    Open to all age divisions

    In this event, youth are encouraged to be creative and present a unique robot exhibit or challenge for display. The robots must include an autonomous aspect and projects which interact with humans are encouraged. Use of a remote control for part of the demonstration is allowed, as long as the youth includes some programming of the controller beyond the basic tank or arcade driver controls and as long as they are able to explain their programming to the judges. Each robot exhibit will be judged for creativity and technical content. Youth who are brand new to robotics, as well as experienced youth, are welcome to show off their robot and field designs.

    Robot Exhibition complete rules (PDF)

  • Show/Hide

    STEM Projects Exhibition

    Open to all age divisions

    Exhibitors may bring an educational display on the robotics or other STEM project or give a demonstration. Standard 4-H Score Sheets will be used for both of these events.

Thank you

Thank you to the Missouri 4-H STEM Committee for their dedication to choosing and describing the challenges, setting the schedule and working quickly to get information prepared for 4-H members. Thank you to Dr. Susan Renoe for securing the Memorial Union for the event and to Dr. Jo Britt-Rankin for including the contest as part of Show Me Mizzou.