RoboRAVE International


"Over the past ten years…I have never encountered a high quality program like RoboRAVE International. … It is this ease and low cost involvement that enable the program to be easily replicated in other states and through organizations such as American Indian Science and Engineering Society."

-- Jon K. Price, Ph.D, Program manager, Research & Evaluation, Intel® Corporation, Corporate Affairs Group

Program Type

Hands on/Project-Based
Informal /Out of School

Target Audience

All Students


Rio Arriba
San Juan
Santa Fe


Pre-K - 5
Grades 6 - 8
Grades 9 - 12

 Accomplished link

Program Impact

RoboRAVE International takes advantage of young people's natural desire to design, make, test, and perfect something of their own. Eighty-five percent of 2012 participants said RoboRAVE increases their interest in science or technology, and 74% say it would help them attend college. Program leaders believe that, with sufficient funds, they could reach 1,000 more students next year.


Program Overview

RoboRAVE International is a competition for teams of school-aged kids who have designed, built and programmed autonomous robots.

R.A.V.E. stands for Robots Are Very Educational. Analyzing speed versus torque, comparing rates in fractions per second, or figuring out the volume needed to deliver 50 ping-pong balls puts physics and math in context.

Our challenges focus on problem solving, whether through Line Following, Jousting, Fire Fighting, or "Robotovating" - innovating with robots. Four levels of competition - elementary, middle, high school and Big Kids (anything beyond high school) - means kids can start simple but grow into complex problem-solving as skills develop.

We aim to make robotics accessible to ANY student ANYWHERE. We train our teachers and our students at workshops and through our website. We make team costs affordable. And we keep kids coming back by creating a fun event that students describe with words like "awesomeness." We live our motto: "Today's Play, Tomorrow's Pay."

How To Get Involved

RoboRAVE offers diverse sponsorship opportunities ranging from several hundred dollars to sponsor lodging for a team to thousands of dollars to sponsor a competition to larger grants that would help RoboRAVE dramatically expand its reach. The program is exploring opportunities to expand beyond New Mexico to states including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky,New York, and Texas, RoboRAVE also offers rewarding opportunities for STEM professionals to volunteer with young people in an exciting competitive environment. 

Funders and Partners

FUNDERS: Intel (our founding sponsor), Century Link, New Mexico Tech University and
Los Alamos National Laboratory

IN-KIND PARTNERS: 2012 New Mexico Legislature, SMG, Education First, HP, New Mexico MESA, Lego Education, Center for Hands On Learning, Rio Images, Bueno Foods, Creamland Dairy, and Shamrock


Russ Fisher-Ives, Director Global Programs

Visit Website

Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.