Evaluation "World Robot Olympiad"

Our support in cooperation with the Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg (JMU) has made it possible to study the effects of the WRO Germany and obtain impressive results.

About the World Robot Olympiad

The World Robot Olympiad (WRO) is an international robotics competition aiming to get children and young people excited about natural sciences and engineering. The participants work on new challenges each year in two or three-person teams together with a coach.

At the competitions, the teams primarily build robots using the LEGO MINDSTORMS system. Depending on the competition category though, other or all other controllers, building materials, and programming languages are also allowed. The competition is open to children and young people aged between 8 and 19.  A team competes in one of the three categories: Regular Category, Open Category, or Football Category. 762 teams registered for the WRO 2019. 33 regional WRO competitions were held from the beginning of May to the beginning of June, providing teams with the opportunity to qualify for the Germany finals in Schwäbisch Gmünd from June 25 to June 26, 2019. This cycle was studied by Prof. Dr. Henneke (Computer Science Education).


"There are plenty of competitions for students, but what do they achieve in the participants? Only very few answer this with external expertise. Organized by the club TECHNIK BEGEISTERT e.V., the WRO gives us the opportunity to use scientific methods to learn more about the effects of this support approach and to use these insights for our own work. I hope that TECHNIK BEGEISTERT e.V. will enjoy sustainable benefits from the evaluation results - just like the WRO participants enjoy sustainable effects."

Marco Alfter, Managing Director of the Dr. Hans Riegel Foundation

The Evaluation Project in a Nutshell

The WRO has a strong impact on the development of skills. The evaluation revealed positive indications regarding the WRO's influence on the selected fields of study and career choices. It also showed that there was no "capping effect", meaning that the participants developed their skills regardless of their age group, experience, gender, and success. For the detailed results of the study, please visit: https://www.worldrobotolympiad.de/technik-begeistert-ev/gesellschaftliche-wirkung

Scientific Partner: The Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg

Our scientific partner was the Computer Science Education division of the Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg, which has been offering robotics programs to school and university students as well as lecturers since 2011. The students work in robotics work groups at the Student Research Center at the M!ND Center, the mathematics, computer science and natural science education center of the University of Würzburg, in cooperation with a local secondary school. They also regularly take part in robotics competitions in several teams.

This work and parts of the study results have also been used within the scientific context. This has led to the following publications to date:

  • Pöhner, N., Hennecke, M. and Fleige, M. (accepted): Learning 21st century skills through educational robotics competitions - Selected results of an evaluation study of the World Robot Olympiad in Germany in 2019. In: Lepuschitz, W., Merdan, M., Koppensteiner, G., Balogh, R., Obdržálek, D. (Hrsg). Robotics in Education. RiE 2020. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
  • Pöhner, N., Hennecke, M. (2019): Educating Future Scientists, Engineers, Makers and Inventors: Influence of Students' Participation in Educational Robotics Competitions on their Career Choices in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In: Ihantola, P., Falker, N. (Hrsg.). Proceedings of the 19th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research. New York: ACM.



Dr. Hans Riegel-Stiftung
Projektleiter Peter Laffin
Am Neutor 3
53113 Bonn