Robots will descend on Fargo as North Dakota State University is scheduled to host the Northern Plains BEST Robotics regional championship Dec. 3-5 at the Fargo Civic Center. Middle and high school students from throughout the tri-state region and as far away as Pennsylvania will meet to determine whose robot is best.
The competition is free and open to the public on Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Fargo Civic Center. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Robot matches are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with an awards ceremony at 4 p.m.
Teams from across the country competing in this year’s robotics challenge were given six weeks to design and build a robot to compete against other schools. A total of 36 teams advanced from local competitions and earned a spot to compete in the regional championship in Fargo.
The advancing teams are coming from one of eight competition sites including Fargo and Dickinson, North Dakota; Bowling Green, Ohio; Brookings, South Dakota; New London, Minnesota; and DuBois and Grove City, Pennsylvania. NDSU’s College of Engineering hosted the Bison BEST Robotics Competition Oct. 30-31.
The theme of this year’s competition is Pay Dirt and challenges teams to design and build a robot to repair and operate an underground mine. The mine is represented by a playing field and each quadrant of the field contains game pieces representing a variety of mine materials. Success will be determined by net profit of the commodities collected.
More than 160 area volunteers, consisting of business professionals and NDSU students and faculty, are helping to manage the event. This is the fourth year NDSU has hosted the regional championship.
BEST stands for boosting engineering, science and technology. Its mission is to inspire middle school and high school students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through participation in a sports-like science and engineering-based robotics competition.
As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.