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Contest Dates

Dates and Locations: December 6, 2014 – January 24, 2015.

Click here to see contest dates by area.


Dates: November 10, 2014 – November 25, 2014
Registration fee: $50 per team


Participation Certificate

For a certificate of participation, click here.

Release Form

Click here.

General Rules

(click to learn more)
  • Teams are led by at least ONE team sponsor and are composed of at most FOUR students (per team). Students are not allowed to be part of multiple teams at any level.
  • The team sponsor must be a TCEA member. Click here to renew.
  • All teams are required to have a team name and it must meet common school standards.
  • Only registered students are allowed to touch the robot and computer that is used to program it – the only exception is when technical problems with the computer occur. Live student problem solving is the spirit of this competition!
  • Only registered students will be allowed in the team work area/competition arena area.
  • Teams must designate one student member to be the TEAM CAPTAIN. The team captain is the only person from a team that can review and/or initial score sheets or dispute field setup with the referees.
  • Students in 3rd grade and below cannot compete in the TCEA contests.
  • Students in grade levels 4th – 8th may compete in either Intermediate or Advanced level competition.
  • Students in grade levels 9th – 12th may ONLY compete in Advanced level competition.
  • Teams must compete in their designated area unless there are not enough teams in their area to hold a contest. You may contact your area director with questions.
  • For the area contests, each school may enter no more than four teams, per category, without permission from the area director. If space is available, the area director may allow schools to register more than 4 teams.
  • A maximum of two Arena and/or Inventions teams from each school in each grade level division may advance to the state competition.
  • Wildcard teams will be selected for all remaining available space at the state competition. Wildcard teams are selected by comparing all area results to determine the top scorers who did not place 1st or 2nd at the area contests. These teams will receive an invitation (depending on the number of spaces available).
  • No more than two wildcards per category, from each area, can advance to the state competition.
  • Schools qualify for the state competition, not individual team members. The individuals that actually make up a team at the state competition are the decision of the team sponsor and the school’s principal.
  • NO late or onsite registrations will be allowed at the area or state contests.
  • Every effort to provide wireless will be made. In the event wireless cannot be guaranteed, please plan accordingly.
  • Laser pointers are not allowed at contest.
  • During the competition, students may not communicate with anyone except other registered students and competition staff; this prohibits all forms of communications, including but not limited to live and electronic communication (talking, texting, videos, etc...). If the need arises to communicate with anyone else (sponsors, parents, etc...) the students should request competition staff to coordinate.
  • Students in violation of any rule or caught using communications devices may be disqualified and asked to leave the competition.


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The invention contest is an open-ended contest. Teams of two to four students will create and develop a robotic invention to demonstrate a solution for a problem of their choice. Invention Contest teams will showcase their research, robot performance, robot design, marketing, and presentation skills for judges at the TCEA area contests. Students will approach their problem as a real team of engineers working together to solve their problem using the Engineering Design Process.



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The arena contest is a prescribed problem contest. Teams of two to four students receive a set of challenge rules and specifications designed around a theme that varies from year to year. The year's challenge theme is "Food Frenzy".

Game Manual - (submit feedback to the message board)

Admin Manual -(submit feedback to the message board)
Field Border Construction Manual -(submit feedback to the message board)
Scoring Sheet - click here


TCEA 2014 Food Frenzy - Part 1, Field Setup and Game Pieces (YouTube)(Raw)

TCEA 2014 Food Frenzy - Part 2, Game Task 1.4.1 - Erect a Fertilizer Tower (YouTube)(Raw)

TCEA 2014 Food Frenzy - Part 3, Game Task 1.4.3 - Irrigate Garden Seeds (YouTube)(Raw)

TCEA 2014 Food Frenzy - Part 4, Game Task 1.4.2 - Trigger Growth Spurt (YouTube)(Raw)

TCEA 2014 Food Frenzy - Part 5, Game Task 1.4.4 - Harvest Food (YouTube)(Raw)

TCEA 2014 Food Frenzy - Part 6, Game Task 1.4.6 - Bring Food to Barn (YouTube)(Raw)

TCEA 2014 Food Frenzy - Part 7, Game Task 1.4.5 - Collect Food Pods (YouTube)(Raw)

TCEA 2014 Food Frenzy - Part 8, Game Mechanics (YouTube)(Raw)


Race Against Time Mat
Mats are no longer available from Lego, but TCEA has permission to have these created. We have done our best to match the material texture, markings and cut, but there is no guarantee. It is recommended that schools purchase at least one new mat, for final testing purposes. TCEA will use these new mats at the area and state contests. Mats can be purchased through TCEA here.

Food Frenzy Game Pieces
Dura ¾” schedule-40 PVC coupler - The couplers are “standard” ¾” PVC pipe couplers that can be found at home improvement stores – such as the Home Depot – for less than 50 cents per coupler. “Food Frenzy” uses five (5) Dura ¾” schedule-40 PVC pipe couplers for a single team. To purchase these through TCEA, click here.

Wiffle balls - The Wiffle balls are hollow golfball-sized (1 5/8” diameter) perforated Wiffle-style balls. These balls are also called “practice golf balls” – they can be purchased at many toy stores, sporting goods stores, and online. There is NO specific color designation – the balls can be ANY color, though the most popular colors are white, orange, yellow, and red. “Food Frenzy” uses five (5) practice golf balls for a single team. To purchase these through TCEA, click here.

“Food Frenzy” also makes use of two “team-provided” game pieces that teams will use during their matches; these game pieces – an “Irrigation Channel” and a “Fertilizer Tower” – may optionally be built by teams (requirements are provided in the Game Task descriptions that use them) and may be used to help complete specific game tasks. These two game pieces are brought with the team to the competition table when the team is scheduled to compete, used during the game, and are returned to the team after each competition match. These “team-provided” game pieces may be built using any allowed materials, but must be factored in the team’s allowance and Bill of Materials.

Policy for Changes and Cancellations

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TCEA accepts American Express, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, checks, and school purchase orders (POs) for payment. Purchase orders must include the following information: registrants’ names, a breakdown of coverage, a dollar amount for each item, and a total amount for the purchase order.

Payment or purchase order must be received by the date of the contest.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations must be made in writing by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than five days before the contest. Cancellations received by the deadline will receive a full refund. Cancellations received after the deadline, but before the contest, will receive a refund, less a $25 cancellation fee. After the event has taken place, no refunds will be given.

Refund Policy
If you registered with a purchase order, your purchase order will be charged the cancellation fee. Refunds will be processed after the event has taken place.

Changes to Registration
Changes in registration (i.e. adding or dropping students) may only be made by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The email must include the sponsor’s name and a list of items to be changed. A confirmation email will be sent to the registrant once changes are made.

Responsible Party
Regardless of the situation, it is the responsibility of the individual registrant to pay any balance that was not paid for by the employer, including cancellation charges.

Registration Payment
Send registration payments and purchase orders to:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fax: 512 476 8574

Mailing Address:
TCEA Registration
P.O. Box 18507
Austin, Texas 78760

Physical Address (for overnight payments)
TCEA Registration
3100 Alvin Devane
Buliding B
Austin, Texas 78741




Questions regarding robotics:
Katie Treat
512 450 5404

Mailing Address
PO Box 18507
Austin, TX 78760

Physical Address
3100 Alvin Devane
Building B
Austin, TX 78741

512 476 8500 main
800 282 8232 toll free
512 476 8574 fax