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February 25, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 25, 2011

I am a parent/mentor for the Merrol Hyde Robotics Team, which is in it's third year of participation. This program has opened a new world to our school and students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to experience careers in the engineering field.

BEST’s (Boosting Engineering
Science and Technology) mission is to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science, technology, and math through participation in a sports-like science and engineering-based robotics competition. United States undergraduate institutions award 16 percent of their degrees in sciences or engineering; South Korea and China award 38 percent and 47 percent, respectively. America ranks 27th among developed nations in the proportion of students receiving undergraduate degrees in science or engineering. This program aims to change America's ranking. The competition simulates a real world engineering and manufacturing company. The game objective is to produce a product, the robot, which is capable of performing a driver operated assigned task. The team must design, engineer, build, and program the robot. The robot has a specification of 2’ x 2' x 2' and weigh 24 lbs. Each team receives an identical set of parts, from their local hub, to produce the robot of their design. You cannot use any other parts. This keeps everyone on a level playing field. All robots go through a compliance check. The team also designs and builds a display booth which has a specification of 10’ x 10'x 10' for a product exhibit. An oral marketing presentation is given in front of a panel of judges who represent the company interested in purchasing the robot. A technical notebook is published describing the engineering process of developing the robot. This enormous undertaking is achieved in a short 6 weeks by 6th through 12th grade team members. Could your company do this? These students are very dedicated - giving up many after school hours, weekends, and even their Fall Break to accomplish this program. This team also designs and produces a team t-shirt, which represents the company uniform; maintains a webpage representing their team; have journalists and photographers; maintains a budget which must be presented to the judges. So as you can see, this is a fully functional engineering and manufacturing company. All of this prepares the students for an education in engineering and gives them the opportunity to explore a career that is in great demand in the United States.

Our school does not expose students to engineering courses and because of funding issues most schools do not offer Career Technical Education opportunities. This program fills that gap. This is a fully funded program so that teams can compete without expense, although top teams do spend varying amounts. The opportunity to fundraise gives students the additional experience of operating a real company that must raise capital.

Our team has had ten seniors graduate, seven have pursued engineering degrees, one political science, and two journalism.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My son is the founding president of the Merrol Hyde Robotics Team. He will graduate High School this year and has been accepted at the University of Louisville to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering. I have seen this program give direction to students who thought they would like to be engineers, influence students who did not know what they wanted to do, and convert those that thought they knew what they wanted to do.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Change nothing. The organizers of this organization continously improve the program and are light years ahead of anything I could think of on my own.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

While my son was attending SEMAA (Science Engineering Mathematics and Aerospace Academy) at Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Inspire students to pursue Engineering careers.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 25, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 25, 2011

I was involved with the BEST competition for the first time this year. I volunteered to help as a judge. As someone who also works in a technical field, I was very encouraged to see so many young people get excited about technology. The BEST organiziation is a great way for students of all interests and ages to get involved. There is a role for each student to perfom regardless of technical ability.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching the competition and seeing the excitement of all the competitors about what they were able to accomplish.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase the exposure level with more marketing of the competition all during the year.

February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

The BEST competition helped me kick off a new program starting at our school. We had never had a robotics group and jumped into this competition to try and get one started. The support we got along every step of the way was enormous. The kick-off day had people who were dedicated to helping us understand what the end goals were and even included a "get started" workshop for us to begin the steps to building our robot. We had volunteer mentors who came to our school and helped my team work through the problem-solving and building that went in to getting ready for competition. We also utilized the ability to post questions and get advice from other teams, and even had a team allow us to go over and practice on their "field" and offer advice. We look forward to going back next year.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping us get started and providing support every step of the way.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

offer the chance for a tiered (layered) competition.

February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

I have worked the registration and information desk the past to years at the Tennessee Valley Best Robotics at Calhoun Community College. My experience with this event has been a very positive one. Both years I was able to help for my time slot and someone was there when my shift was finished. Also I had the opportunity to watch the event as a spectator while I was not working and the event seems to be a very educational experience for everyone involved!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the Tennessee Valley Best Robotics at Calhoun Community College

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give the volunteers working the registration and information more knowledge of the event and specific parts of the envet and venue so that they will be prepared to help others to their full ability.

February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

Students got a hands on expierence by buidling and planning a desgin for the challenge that was given.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

high school

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not change any thing.

February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

I am a robotics coach for a high school robotics team. We enter the BEST Robotics Competition each year. It is a fantastic experience for our high school students. Through this program, each team member learns and utilizes a variety of academic skills to achieve a team goal. Team members learn math, science, engineering, business, technology, and communications skills that will help them succeed in today's competitive business environment. BEST is fantastic program in which all students can be involved and become assets to the team.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

This organization has been instrumental in directing eleven students toward an engineering career in the past year. In order to compete in a global world, we must motivate more students to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). This program does exactly that.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I were to make changes to this program, I would expand it to every high school in the United States.

February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

My name is Dave Mixer. I have been part of Capitol BEST for Leander High School since they started within the Austix, Texas area back in 2000. For me, it is educational for the students to learn how to build the 'bot' for the contest and fun to see them compete.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Meetings, observing the students work through ideas, construction of their project, observe the contest.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing! This is great the way it is!!!!!

February 23, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 23, 2011

I have been involved in BEST since 1995. Someone showed me some very raw video of a BEST contest in action one day at work. It caught my attention and I instantly signed on as a volunteer. I've never looked back. I am blessed to have been a part of the "BEST family" for so long. It inspires me. The students inspire me and the volunteers inspire me. It's incredible to think about how many students lives have been changed by this program over the last 18 years. It's fun, exciting, challenging, and educational all in one. There is no other program that I know of that provides students with such a diverse learning experience that prepares them for, not only STEM careers, but any career they choose. Our focus is on engineering, science, technology and mathematics and as an engineer myself I believe strongly in the mission. And I continue to spend countless hours doing it because of a personal satisfaction like none other. Like when a student approaches me after the contest and says "Thank you for giving me this opportunity"....that's all it takes.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

so many BEST students that I know who have gone on to college to study technical fields, entered the workforce at my own company, and then returned to volunteer with BEST.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase it's national visibility.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

February 22, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 22, 2011

I have worked with BEST for two years now. It presents a GREAT opportunity for middle and high school age children to learn - hands on - about science , technology and engineering.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching kids be excited about science and technology.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make it accessible to all school children.

February 22, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 22, 2011

I began working with this group as a parent, but I found that I enjoyed working with this group of people. They are hard working and dedicated to helping our young people learn about life and the hard work it entails. My daughter is about to graduate college with a degree in EE and I owe all of that to BEST. She is a dedicated member of the board and even though it has been 5 years since she competed, I have been asked every year to help judge the presentations.

I enjoy that part so much that I clear my schedule when the call comes.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the continued education of my child in the engineering field.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would work tirelessly to get more schools to have this program in their schools.

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