The Mark Twain House & Museum’s Robotic Frog Jumping Contest

June 8, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  

Open to residents of Connecticut Only

The Jumping Frog Contest was an important and lively annual event at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut for many years, but was discontinued in 1979.

Now, forty years later, The Mark Twain House & Museum is proud to bring the Frog Jumping Contest back, this time with a very modern twist: robotics.

The updated tourney will take place on Saturday, June 8, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as part of the yearly Tom Sawyer Day celebration. We are inviting robotics teams, clubs and individual makers to participate.  If a participant is under the age of 18, they must have their parents’ approval. All participants must be Connecticut residents.

In addition to the race or jump events described below, we will be judging the frogs for external artistic design.  All frogs must appear froglike, (some suggestions include, long frog like legs, a wide mouth, a squat body and frog looking eyes) and we will be awarding prizes to the most froglike looking robotic frog.  Judging in the Artistic Design division will take place on Friday, June 7.   The judges’ decisions are final.

Registration will start on Friday, February 15, and will close on Sunday, May 5, at 5 p.m. All frogs must be completed prior to drop-off, which will take place on Friday, June 7, prior to 6:00 p.m.

There are two Divisions:

  1. Racing Division: This division is for the grades K-3 age grouping, and the grades 4-8 age grouping.  Students must have attended school in the 2018-2019.  

The robotic frogs competing in this division will be racing to the “Lily Pad.”

The grades K-3 age grouping will have ground frogs – non-jumping frogs — only, and the frogs must complete a race.  The frog with the fastest time to the Lily Pad will win.    Frogs cannot be more than 6.5”W x 6.5”L x 6.5” H in size.   Depending on the number of entries, there may be multiple heats.  Participants may build frogs from scratch or use a kit as a base.  Teams may not use explosives or flammable liquid to propel the frogs.

The grades 4-8 age grouping will have a mixture of ground frogs and jumping frogs.  Frogs must complete a race. The frog with the fastest time to the Lily Pad will win.  Frogs cannot be more than 6.5”W x 6.5”L x 6.5” H in size.   Depending on the number of entries there may be multiple heats.  Participants may build frogs from scratch or use a kit as a base. Teams may not use explosives or flammable liquid to propel the frogs.

  1. Jumping Division: This division is for the grades 9-12 (Students must have attended school in the 2018-2019) age grouping as well as a College and Beyond age grouping. The winner of this contest will be the frog with the longest vertical jump.  We will not be measuring the height of the jump.  All frogs must remain the same dimensions as when they started during the jump.  Frogs must be mechanical in nature, though they can start from a back stop.  

The grades 9-12 age grouping will compete in a Jumping Frog Contest.  The frog with the longest jump will be the winner.  The longest jump will be measured from the start line to the rear edge of the frog.  Frogs cannot be more than 6.5”W x 6.5”L x 6.5” H in size.   Participants may build frogs from scratch or use a kit as a base. Teams may not use explosives or flammable liquid to propel the frogs.

The College and Beyond age grouping will also compete in a Jumping Frog Contest.  The frog with the longest jump will be the winner. The longest jump will be measured from the start line to the rear edge of the frog.  Frogs cannot be more than 6.5”W x 6.5”L x 6.5” H in size.   Frogs can start the jump with a backstop.  We are encouraging entrants to self-build their frogs, and we would ask that the frogs not cost more than $250.00 to build. This will be on the honor system. Teams may not use explosives or flammable liquid to propel the frogs.

This event is happening in the Hal Holbrook Hall of the Webster Bank Museum Center at the Mark Twain House & Museum, the dimensions of the Hall are 60’x60’x60’ and the field of play will fit with in those dimensions.

Tom Sawyer Day is generously supported by the Evelyn W. Preston Memorial Trust Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, and by the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign with major support from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.  Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible with the support of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts.

The Mark Twain House & Museum is proud to be working in partnership with NE FIRST, the operating partner for FIRST (registered trademark) (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) programs in New England on this event. FIRST is a K-12 continuum of STEM programs, that ignite young minds and nurture passions for 21st century learning.

Mark Twain House and NE FIRST are thrilled to announce that there will be cash prizes for this event sponsored by United Technologies Corporation.

Click here to register.