Annual GEAR Challenge Set for April 16

The competition, which will feature more than 700 students from over 50 schools, will be held at the Texas Tech Student Recreation Center.

WHAT: GEAR – Get Excited About Robotics Competition Day

WHEN: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday (April 16). Elementary schools, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Middle schools, 1-5 p.m.

WHERE: Basketball courts, Robert H. Ewalt Student Recreation Center, Texas Tech University

EVENT: GEAR is an eight-week LEGO robotics challenge for elementary and middle school students in Kindergarten through eighth grade. Student teams build and program LEGO robots, using EV3/MINDSTORMS EV 3 kits to perform specified tasks. To solve the challenge, students learn engineering skills through a teaming exercise in designing, building, programming, testing and troubleshooting wheeled LEGO robots that perform and compete on an 8-foot-by-8-foot field.

Texas Tech freshmen students in the Whitacre College of Engineering mentor the elementary and middle school students and assist with robot programming.

During the last six years, Texas Tech has served as a local GEAR hub for the competition in Lubbock. During this time period, the competition has grown from a trial run held with Harwell Elementary School in 2006 to a competition with 150 participating teams. This year, more than 700 students from over 50 schools from the Lubbock area and across the South Plains will participate.

GEAR is part of National Robotics Week. For more information, visit the GEAR website.

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CONTACT: Tanja Karp, associate professor, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Whitacre College of Engineering, Texas Tech University, (806) 834-8412 or

Whitacre College of Engineering

The Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering has educated engineers to meet the technological needs of Texas, the nation and the world since 1925.

Approximately 4,300 undergraduate and 725 graduate students pursue bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees offered through eight academic departments: civil and environmental, chemical, computer science, electrical and computer, engineering technology, industrial, mechanical and petroleum.