To excite our nation's students about engineering, science and technology to unlock their imagination and discover their potential...
To inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science, technology, and math through participation in a sports-like science- and engineering-based robotics competition.
You can now be included in an online community for BEST Robotics on the Northark Portal. Membership in this group will allow you to access social networks, send email and chat with other members sharing common interests. If you would like to sign up follow this link: BEST Robotics Group
Resource Logo Pack
Sample Parent Permission Slip
Sample Safety Contract/Permission Form
How to Win the BEST Award
Parent Information About BEST
I wanted to provide a little more information on judging and which teams will advance to the Regional Competition at Frontier Trails BEST on the UA Fort Smith campus. All of the information below (with the exception of item 5) comes from the 2006 Awards and Judging Policies Part I (pages 1-10) and Part II (pages 1-2) included in the Kick-Off Day Packet.
1. The BEST Award:
Judging Category and Points
Project Engineering Notebook: 30 points
Table Display and Interviews: 25 points
Spirit and Sportsmanship: 15 points
Robot Performance: 5 points
Overall Total: 75 points
The Engineering Notebook must be turned in when your team registers Saturday morning. Judge’s Score sheets will be returned with the Engineering Notebook so that your team can use them to improve the Notebook for regional competition or for use in next year’s contest. Please have your team carefully read the Guidelines for the Engineering Notebook included in your Kick-Off Day packet.
Displays should be completely set up prior to start of the Game Day competition (9:00AM). Each team will have a 10’X10’X10’ area with a standard 29”X6’ table for your use. You should plan on having at least one student man your display for the duration of the judging period (9:15AM to 10:30AM). Please have your team carefully read the Guidelines for Table Displays and Interviews included in your Kick-Off packet.
Spirit and Sportsmanship will be evaluated collectively by Category Judges and shall be based on performance and conduct of each BEST Robotics team during all facets of the competition.
Robot Performance points toward the BEST Award will be determined as described in the Guidelines for Robot Performance.
First, Second, and Third place trophies will be awarded for the BEST Award. First and Second place BEST Award winners will advance to Regional Competition.
2. The Competition Award:
Awarded to the teams whose machines finish First, Second, and Third in the tournament bracket. The First Place Competition Award winner will advance to Regional Competition.
3. The Founders Award for Creative Design:
Awarded to the team that makes the best use of the engineering process in consideration of offensive and defensive capabilities in machine design; awarded in recognition of BEST founders Steve Marum and Ted Mahler
4. The Most Robust Machine Award:
Awarded to the team whose machine requires the least maintenance during and between matches and is generally the sturdiest machine in the competition.
5. Team Advancement:
Selection of teams to advance to the Regional Competition will be made as follows:
- First Regional Team – First Place BEST Award
- Second Regional Team – First Place Competition Award
- Third Regional Team – Second Place BEST Award
In the event that the first or second place BEST Award winners also win the Competition Award, the sequence will be followed until three distinct teams are selected for Regional Competition:
- Third Regional Team – Second Place Competition Award
- Third Regional Team – Third Place BEST Award
- Third Regional Team – Third Place Best Award
What Is BEST?
BEST is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization whose mission is to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science, and technology through participation in a sports-like, science and engineering-based robotics competition.
Attributes of the Competition
- Enhances teaching/teacher effectiveness
- Reinforces classroom learning
- Creates real-world academic challenge
- Increases students’ interest in and understanding of engineering and science
- Exposes students to new career opportunities
- Provides competition/fun
- Promotes school spirit and sense of community
Benefits to Students
- Increases understanding of technical concepts and scientific principles
- Provides real-world engineering experience with limited resources
- Reinforces project management concepts with constrained time period
- Encourages abstract thought, self-directed learning, and problem solving
- Promotes team building, good sportsmanship, leadership, and ethical conduct
- Produces pride in success
North Arkansas College BEST
North Arkansas College BEST is a group of engineers, teachers, parents and industry technologists in the North Arkansas area that have joined together to inspire and motivate students towards studies and careers in engineering, science, and technology through a sports-like technology contest. A team of students from your school is assisted by a small group of technology coaches from local industry for a six-week period to design and build a radio-controlled machine to accomplish a defined task.
The technology contest is designed to simulate a real-world business and engineering environment. The teams gather at game kickoff day, are shown the game field, and are given:
- The time period of the contest. The game is limited to a six-week period to simulate a product time-to-market constraint. In the real world, a late product doesn’t sell. In the game world, a late product means that you don’t compete.
- The resources for the contest. Each team is given an identical box of odd parts, fasteners, materials, a radio controller, motors, and servos. In the real world, a new product must be built within a cost budget. In the game world, the machine can be built only with kit parts.
- The specifications for the contest. At kickoff, a detailed game task description will be given to each team. This description is the most closely held secret in the process, known only to a select few Texas BEST game designers before the kickoff. In the real world, a new product must meet the customer’s requirements and specifications. In the game world, the machine must meet size and weight requirements while still completing the game task.
Engineers from local industry, as well as parents and other interested individuals, act as mentors for their school’s team, to guide the students through a product design, prototype, build-and-deliver sequence. Each school is typically assigned 2-3 mentors. Mentors are encouraged to participate in student brainstorming sessions but the students remain the primary decision makers as they design and build their machines. Much more learning is accomplished by letting students discover their own mistakes and successes.
The schools provide classroom/shop access after school hours, transportation to contest sites, and at least one teacher sponsor for administrative support much like a sponsored academic contest. Student participation is decided by the school, but we hope to offer the experience to all students, regardless of background.
Teams are rewarded in many ways. Trophies are given to the top four finishing teams and the team with the best increase in school awareness of engineering, science and technology. Awards are also given to teams whose machines display the most elegant design, most unusual design, and the most robust design. The top winners from each regional competition are invited to the regional contest, Texas BEST, to be held at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Through BEST, students are exposed to a real-life hands-on experience that they will never forget. They will learn important skills such as teamwork, project management, technical writing, and general design concepts that will help them in the future, no matter what career they finally choose, technical or non-technical. Their participation in Northark BEST is an excellent activity to list on a resume.