What is BEST Robotics?
BEST stands for "Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology". The competition occurs annually at locally organized hub sites throughout the country. This will be NDSU's 8th year as a hub site and 3rd year as a regional competition site.
The mission of BEST Robotics Inc. is to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science, and technology through participation in a sports-like, science- and engineering-based robotics competition.
The competition is open to middle and high school students. There is no limit to the number of students who can participate on the team; however, each school may only enter one team.
More information about BEST Robotics Inc. can be found at http://www.bestinc.org.
How does the competition work?
There are two parallel competitions associated with the BEST program -- the robotics competition and the BEST Award. For the robotics competition, each participating school is provided an identical kit of equipment and parts, a set of game rules, and given six weeks to design, build, and test a remote controlled robot that outperforms other robots. Engineers, University faculty members, and other technical professionals from local industry serve as team mentors, advising and guiding students throughout the design and construction of their robot; however, students perform all of the work.
In addition to the robotics competition, students compete for the BEST Award, which is presented to the team that best embodies the concept of “Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology”. The 5 elements of the BEST Award are:
- Project Engineering Notebook
- Marketing Presentation
- Team Exhibit and Interview
- Spirit and Sportsmanship
- Robot Performance
The BEST Award competition is optional for schools.
The competition is comprised of (4) events:
- Kick-Off Day (one of the first 3 Saturdays in September) — game challenge and playing field unveiled; the six-week long “design-and-build” phase begins
- Mall Day (mid-October) — typically during the 5th week, teams practice-drive their robots on the playing field set up at a local mall
- Game Day (late October) — the actual competition takes place; winners of both the Robotics and BEST Award divisions advance to a regional championship
- Regional Championship (early December) — winning teams from all hubs within a BEST geographical region compete for the regional title.
What is the cost to participate?
The competition is FREE for schools to participate; the only costs your team will incur are travel-related expenses to come to Fargo for the events. In addition, since NDSU owns the kits of parts to build the robots, we loan them to the schools for the six-week competition.
How can I get involved?
Start a team
Each school can enter only one team in the competition, but there is no limit to the number of students that can participate on each team. Schools are accepted on a first come, first served basis. What does your school need to participate?
- Advisor/primary point of contact — a person, probably from the school system, to coordinate the efforts of the team.
- Workspace — an area with basic workshop tools.
- Mentors — individuals from the area who are willing to help the students with their robot project. Mentors can be engineers, skilled workers or anyone with a desire to help students learn and solve problems.
- Funding — there is no cost to the school to enter the competition. The teams only need funds to cover the cost of the required travel to and from Fargo.
- Interest — a group of students interested in building a robot, designing a team exhibit, organizing an engineering notebook, and/or delivering a marketing presentation.
For more information about registering a team to participate in the competition, please contact Holly Erickson by email or (701) 231-9767.
Be A Mentor
The role of a team mentor is to work with the teacher and help guide the students through the design and construction of their robot. Each school in the competition is encouraged to have at least one mentor who will arrange hours to meet with their team. On average, the mentor will spend 3-4 hours per week with their team during the 6-week competition period."
Mentors can be engineers, university/college students and faculty members, trades people, and other community members interested in helping our youth.
If you are interested in mentoring a team, please contact Jim Walter by email or (218) 329-1799.
Be a judge or volunteer
Volunteers are needed to serve as judges and referees during the competition.
We are currently seeking volunteers to serve as referees and judges at the Game Day competition.
If you are interested in serving as a judge or referee, please contact Holly Erickson by email.