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SoLA Youth Showdown (SYS) 
City-Wide Robotics Competition

SoLA Youth Showdown is a thrilling competition that challenges youth aged 9-18 from Los Angeles and surrounding areas to showcase their robotics skills. This exciting event provides participants with an engaging and educational experience. SYS is the ultimate showcase of the skills acquired through the rigorous training facilitated by SoLA Robotics, which ultimately determines the SYS champion.

History of S.Y.S.

Jennifer Lashley aimed to provide the students of South LA with a rich educational experience involving robotics and technology. Inspired by the transformative impact of local and international contests on her students, she envisioned creating a robotics competition specifically for the youth of South Los Angeles.


In June 2023, her vision came to fruition through a collaborative effort with esteemed partners, namely the Crenshaw Family YMCA with financial support from LA County Supervisor, Holly Mitchell. Together, they organized the inaugural South LA Robotics Competition, which became a significant milestone in the history of SoLA Robotics.


This competition is a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation in education. Attendees unanimously expressed that the experience exceeded any other competition they had participated in or known to exist. SYS profoundly fostered unity among multiple schools, administrators, families, and community partners. 

Competition GOALS

Showcase Applied Robotics Design Ideas

Demonstrate Proficient Programming Control

Use Artificial Intelligence Integration

Foster Collaborative Team Dynamics

Develop Effective Presentation Skills

  • SoLA successfully introduced robotics education to youth in South LA, reaching eight schools and training 160 students for the SYS competition.

  • Participating schools received state-of-the-art robotics equipment, providing students access to cutting-edge technology and fostering a hands-on learning experience.

  • Participants were exposed to diverse educational and career pathways in STEM, inspiring informed decision-making about their future.

  • We were able to equip educators with resources and tools to support students in preparation for the SYS competition.

Expansion of Robotics Education & Resources:

Competition IMPACT

Community Engagement and Awareness


  • We increased awareness around STEM events in the community through the SoLA Robotics Competition.

  • We encouraged community participation, fostering a culture of curiosity and interest in STEM fields.

  • With over 300 in attendance, we provided a place where parents and extended family members could share in real tech experiences including programming various robots and building a robot arm.

Cultivation of a Collaborative STEM Ecosystem: 

  • The SYS Competition created a collaborative ecosystem within the South LA community by bringing together schools, educators, students, and other STEM organizations.

  • The competition fostered a network that continues to support and promote STEM initiatives.

The impact of the SoLA Youth Showdown extends beyond the competition, leaving an indelible mark on the participating schools and the broader South LA community.


Explore the transformative nature of this event through our captivating video, offering a firsthand glimpse into the excitement and innovation that unfolded during the first South LA Robotics Competition.

Help keep high quality robotics instruction, accessible competitive experiences in tech, and STEM career pathway programs available for South LA youth by donating today.

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