About Us


Have you ever watched a first, second, or third grader on their way into their classroom? They are excited to be there! Imagine how much each of us would know, how much we could do, if only our own enthusiasm for learning was the same as that of an elementary student!  

Unfortunately, if you watch most high school students on their way into their classrooms their enthusiasm is much less apparent. However, every once in a while you find that special school, that special teacher or that special program that has the ability to re-ignite student enthusiasm. Simply put, igniting that enthusiasm is what this program is all about.

When you ask a student to learn an equation in math, they ask "why do we need to know this stuff?" In physics, a student asks "where would I apply this?" In many cases schools do not have the funding to provide relevant, hands-on activities for students that would directly relate to these associations and the teacher is left to talk about applications, rather than allowing students to experience them.

It is these challenges that brought about the creation of the Zillah Robot Challenge.


While the Zillah Robot Challenge serves as an introduction to robotics, the goals of the program are much wider in scope. We aim to provide free, hands on experiences in math and science education to any willing student in the Greater Yakima Valley, regardless of what school they attend. Further, we seek to increase all students’ knowledge, enthusiasm, and awareness of technology and science careers. Finally, the program strives to associate the skills learned in the program to real-world applications through partnerships with area researchers, scientists and other technology related professionals.


Beginning in the Fall of 2008, the Zillah Robot Challenge program has held competitions in December and March each year. Students, teachers, and chaperones alike have learned a great deal throughout each competition day. It is obvious that the program has had a positive impact on students as evidenced by their enthusiasm, excitement, and participation in multiple competitions. In total, more than 2500 students from 101 different schools have participated in the nine competitions from December 2008 to December 2014.

The Zillah Robot Challenge is run solely by volunteers.  The program was started by ZHS Science Teacher Jeff Charbonneau and ZHS Science Booster President Sally Moffat.   However, the program would not exist without significant contributions by numerous businesses and individuals throughout Washington State.  Please visit our "Supporters" page for more information.

From 2008-2013, 75 different schools from around our state have been a part of the Zillah Robot Challenge.  Many schools participate in only one competition season due to their scheduling; however, some schools do participate in both. 

Schools that have participated from Fall 2008 through Fall 2014 include:


Anderson Home School (Harrah)

Bickleton High School (Bickleton)

Bishop Blanchet High School (Seattle)

Bonney Lake High School (Bonney Lake)

Cascade High School (Leavenworth)

Cascade Discovery Center (Leavenworth)

Case Home School (Yakima)

Chiawana High School (Pasco)

Christian Worship Center (Zillah)

Clarkston High School (Clarkston)

Columbia Basin Secondary School (Moses Lake)

Columbia-Burbank High School (Burbank)

Columbia Virtual Academy (Yakima)

Compass High School (Grandview)

Concrete High School (Concrete)

Curlew High School (Curlew)

Davis High School (Yakima)

Deer Park High School (Deer Park)

Discovery Middle School (Pasco)

East Valley High School (Yakima)

East Valley Central Middle School (Yakima)

EAGLE High School (Toppenish)

Eisenhower High School (Yakima)

Enterprise Middle School (West Richland)

Entiat High School (Entiat)

Entiat Middle School (Entiat)

Franklin Middle School (Yakima)

Grace Lutheran School (Yakima)

Grandview High School (Grandview)

Granger High School (Granger)

Granger Middle School (Granger)

Harrah Community Christian School (Harrah)

Harrison Middle School (Sunnyside)

Highland Middle School (Cowiche)

Highline Grace Academy (Wapato)

Home Education Design School (Yakima)

Ilwaco Middle School (Ilwaco)

Kamiakin High School (Kennewick)

Kiona-Benton High School (Benton City)

Kittitas Secondary School (Kittitas)

LGSR Academy (Yakima)

Lakeside High School (Nine Mile Falls)

Lakeside Middle School (Nine Mile Falls)

LaSalle High School (Yakima)

Lewis and Clark Middle School (Yakima)

Lewis and Clark High School (Spokane)

Lind-Ritzville Middle School (Ritzville)

Lynch Home School (Selah)

Mabton High School (Mabton)

Mabton Middle School (Mabton)

Mayo Home School (Zillah)

McLoughlin Middle School (Pasco)

Nerd Herd Home School (Pasco)

Ochoa Middle School (Pasco)

Odessa Middle School (Odessa)

PACE High School (Wapato)

Pasco High School (Pasco)

Prosser High School (Prosser)

Quincy High School (Quincy)

Richland High School (Richland)

Riverside Christian Middle (Yakima)

Riverside Christian High (Yakima)

Riverview High School (Kennewick)

Royal High School (Royal City)

Royal Middle School (Royal City)

Safe Haven After School Program (Toppenish)

Selah High School (Selah)

Selah Intermediate School (Selah)

Sierra Vista Middle School – 21st Century (Sunnyside)

Spencer Home School (Moxee)

Stanton Academy (Yakima)

Stevens Middle School (Pasco)

St. Anne School (Seattle)

St. Joseph-Marquette Middle School (Yakima)

St. John’s (Bellingham)

St. John of Kronstadt Christian (Yakima)

St. Paul Cathedral School (Yakima)

Sunnyside Christian High School (Sunnyside)

Sunnyside Christian Junior High School (SS)

Sunnyside Community Center-21st Century (SS)

Sunnyside High School (Sunnyside)

Sunnyside’s Promise (After School Program)

Thorp High School (Thorp)

Three Rivers Homelink (Richland)

Tri-Cities Technical Skills Center (Kennewick)

Wahkiakum High School (Cathlamet)

Wahluke High School (Mattawa)

Walter Strom Middle School (Cle Elum)

Wapato High School (Wapato)

Wapato Middle School (Wapato)

Warden High School (Warden)

Washington Middle School (Yakima)

Way Home School (Selah)

Wenatchee Valley Technical Skills Center

West Valley High School (Yakima)

West Valley Junior High School (Yakima)

White Swan High School (White Swan)

Yakima Valley Technical Skills Center (Yakima)

Zillah Alternative Program (Zillah)

Zillah High School (Zillah)

Zillah Middle School (Zillah)

(That's 101 schools/groups!)