GEAR - Get Excited About Robotics



Get Excited About RoboticsGEAR Robotics Challenge

GEAR provides an exciting hands-on LEGO robotics challenge to elementary and middle school students at no participation fee, with the goal of increasing interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines while offering mentoring opportunities to engineering undergraduate students at Texas Tech University in an effort to improve their education and increase retention rates.

GEAR itself (found at is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) volunteer organization that was created to foster interest among today's youth in engineering, science, and technology. It provides the game rules for the annual competition with instructions on how to build game tables and where to purchase game elements. GEAR also maintains a Question and Answer section on its website. GEAR tournaments are held at various locations listed on the GEAR website.

The Challenge and the Robot

Get Excited About RoboticsGEAR Robotics ChallengeGEAR Robotics Challenge


During the 6 - 8 week long GEAR challenge elementary and middle student teams design, construct, and program robots using the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 kits or the older LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT kits, which contain structural elements, wheels, axles, gears, motors, sensors, and a simple microprocessor with rechargeable battery. Programming of the robot is accomplished through an intuitive graphical user interface, the EV3 Software, patterned after the widely-used LabVIEW laboratory instrumentation package from National Instruments. Communication between the robot's microprocessor and the computer is done through Bluetooth or a computer's USB port.
The annually changing challenge is designed around a fictive story that motivates the need for autonomous robots (i.e. a robot operating in Antarctica, constructing a moon post, or performing surgery). To solve the challenge, students learn engineering skills through a teaming exercise in designing, building, programming, testing, and troubleshooting their wheeled LEGO robots. These robots then compete autonomously in two minute matches on a 4-by-8-foot game field.

2018 Tournament Dates

Kick off - February 10, 2108
Trial Run - March 3, 2018
Game Day - April 7, 2018
Playoffs - April 28, 2018


2018 Registration opens in December. Check back!

More Information

Click on the following links to find out more about:
Photos and Videos from TTU GEAR Tournaments
Teacher resources (including how to start a LEGO robotics club)
Mindstorms Training for New Coaches
TTU LEGO Robotics field trips


Dr. Tanja Karp
Associate Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX 79409-3102
Phone: 806.742.3533 ext. 251
De’Lila Holder
Whitacre College of Engineering STEM
Texas Tech University
Office of the Dean of Engineering
Lubbock, TX 79409−3103

Texas Tech GEAR Sponsors

sme Whitacre College of Engineering