Robotics education has received an increasing attention in recent years as a means to build students’ motivation, team collaboration skills, and other valuable 21st century competencies. Yet there is a lack of experimental studies to investigate and identify strategies to facilitate robotics education. This study adopted a 2 × 2 quasi‐experimental design to investigate two strategies: the incorporation of augmented reality (AR) and the introduction of competition in robotics activities. Students’ robotics task performance, team collaboration processes, 21st century learning competencies and learning motivation were measured as dependent variables. The results indicated that AR significantly improved students’ motivation, team processes, and 21st century competencies. Moreover, the effects of AR were more pronounced with the competition groups. Implications are drawn to provide guidelines on the use of AR and competition in robotics education.