Take plywood and a box filled with items such as PVC pipe, screws and other hardware, an irrigation valve cover, piano wire, aluminum paint grid, a bicycle inner tube, a BRAIN (BEST Robotics Advanced Instruction Node programmable platform), and something called a micro-energy chain system and try, within six weeks, to design and build a functioning machine that can perform certain, specific tasks in three minutes. What do you get?
You get BEST, a middle and high school robotics competition whose mission is to engage and excite students about engineering, science, and technology as well as inspire them to pursue careers in these fields.
Through participation in our project-based STEM program, students learn to analyze
and solve problems utilizing the Engineering Design Process, which
helps them develop technological literacy skills. It is these skills that industry seeks
in its workforce.
Each fall, over 750 middle and high schools and over 11,000 students participate in the competition.
• BEST Robotics Inc. (BRI) is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization headquartered at Auburn University (AL).
• Schools participate at no cost -- there is no fee.
• Any school may participate regardless of socioeconomic status, size, or location. Public, private, and home school groups or organizations (that is, not individual families) are welcomed to participate.
• Students are the primary participants and
benefactors. Students perform all of the work;
mentors serve as guides and advisors.
• Engineers and other technical professionals
from local industries serve as team mentors.
• Over 3500 volunteers help run the local competitions and regional championships by serving as event personnel, judges, and team mentors.
As a result of participating in BEST, students…
• Understand the practical use of math concepts and applied physics
• Solve real-world science and engineering problems, training that is transferable to all academic disciplines and career pursuits
• Gain an increased interest in engineering, math, and science
• Understand what engineers do — the
engineering profession is “demystified”
• Experience “design-to-market” product development
• Receive recognition and acclaim typically reserved for their peers in sports
Students become competent and confident in:
• Abstract Thinking
• Self-Directed Learning
• Project Management