Southeastern BEST Robotics championship to take place at Auburn University
The public will have an opportunity to witness the enthusiastic, sports-like environment surrounding BEST Robotics as the 2015 South’s BEST championship will take place on the Auburn University campus in Beard Eaves Memorial Coliseum on Dec. 5 and 6.
The championship will feature the top 55 teams from five southeastern states. Five schools from the local War Eagle BEST hub have advanced to the championship: Wetumpka High School, Southside Middle School, Eastwood/Cornerstone School, Tallassee High School, and Saint James School.
Answering the nation’s need for more and better-prepared workers in scientific, industrial and technological fields, BEST, which stands for “Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology,” is a middle school and high school robotics program, now in its 23rd year nationally and 15th year in Alabama. BEST Robotics is the only robotics program in the nation that is offered to schools at no cost. The not-for-profit, all-volunteer program challenges students to design, build and market a robot to use in a six-week-long series of competitions, culminating in the South’s BEST championship, which is hosted by Auburn University’s College of Sciences and Mathematics and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.
During the championship teams will compete in a series of head-to-head matches on a playing field designed for this year’s game titled, “Pay Dirt.” The challenge behind this year’s game is for each team to create a robot that can repair an underground mine, and at the same time, extract five lucrative materials at various depths beneath the surface, namely coal, iron, aluminum, copper, and lithium.
In addition to robot performance, teams will compete to receive awards in other categories, such as engineering design notebook, marketing presentation, team exhibit, interview, team spirit and sportsmanship. Awards are given based on criteria, such as demonstrated teamwork, a positive attitude and enthusiasm, school and community involvement, and creativity.
“BEST works because students are the sole participants and primary decision-makers, designers and builders for the competition,” said Mary Lou Ewald, director of outreach for the College of Sciences and Mathematics at Auburn University. “BEST is successful because students have an opportunity to interact with industry leaders, technical professionals and engineers who act as mentors, guiding them through the challenges they face while designing, building, promoting and competing in the BEST Robotics program. Students gain skills and hone talents they will use as members of the future workforce, including: abstract thought, self-directed learning, teamwork, project management, decision making, problem solving and leadership.”
The primary objective of the BEST Robotics program is to: provide students with a real-world engineering experience that incorporates the practical application of math and science; prepare students to be technologically literate and thus better prepared to enter the workforce; help students develop leadership, project management, teamwork and organizational skills; and develop confidence and competence.
More information on South’s BEST, including a detailed game description, can be found at the website at www.southsbest.org.
Department of Geosciences student conducts research at the Smithsonian Institution about the perspectives of climate change08/09/2022
COSAM’s Office of Outreach concludes fun-filled, educational summer—acknowledges impact of community and campus partnerships on camp’s success08/01/2022