Best Robotics, Inc.

Rating: 4.82 stars   89 reviews

Address:

217 Ramsey Hall Auburn University AL 36849 USA

Mission:

BEST is a non-profit, volunteer organization whose 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.

Programs:

The program involves having middle and high school students design, build, then demonstrate a robotic machine to play a sports-like "game". Engineers from local industry act as mentors to guide the students in the engineering process, teaming and other business principles. The contest is designed to simulate a real-world business and engineering environment. The contest simulates:
1) Time to Market - through a limited time period (only 6 weeks);
2) Design to Cost - by providing a "kit" of raw materials from which the robot must be designed. No other parts are allowed; 
3) Design to Function - by requiring teams to build a robot that meets design restrictions such as size/weight and still performs specific tasks in the game to earn points. Students learn other aspects of product development such as advertising, fund raising, technical writing, business operations, teamwork and leadership, etc. There are no entry fees and all materials are provided for the participating schools. There are many hubs (local contest sites) throughout the United States. Each hub sets it's own budget, performs it's own fundraising and executes the local competition.  All hubs use the same game, kit materials and time-frame for the contest, as defined and controlled by BEST Robotics, Inc.  The budget for a typical hub is approximately $1200 per team.  Hubs host from 8 to 32 teams.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

http://www.bestinc.org

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Reviews for Best Robotics, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with the BEST program now for 3 years as a teacher/coach. Prior to this I had never even heard of Robotics. I can honestly say robotics, BEST Robotics, makes a difference in children's lives. I've seen young people, not knowing what they want to do in their lives, become interested and pursue degrees and careers in engineering after participating in Robotics. Robotics reaches a wide range of students with a wide range of talents. It is an outstanding opportunity to students to elarn more about the business and engineering world. It develops ther critical thinking skills, creativity and confidence! The best thing about BEST? It is a free organization for our students!

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

I've seen young people, not knowing what they want to do in their lives, become interested and pursue degrees and careers in engineering after participating in Robotics. I have witnessed young women acquire knowledge and confidence to use power tools and to see they too can be critical problem solvers! I've witness students acquire new skills such as programming and CAD capabilities.

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

Not a thing!

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

OKBest has been a great tool for kids. My students finally feel they have a place where knowledge is power. Robotics are now COOL. I'm thankful for this organization and wish it would have been around when I was in school.

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

By having a school team.

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

none

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My name is John Stewart and I was a sponsor of a robotics team at Seagoville High School. It is great to be able to allow students to be involved in an electronics competition that can be very expensive but of no cost to the students. The students through the years have continued to use their experience in scholarship and work applications.

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

When I have an opportunity to talk to former students they always talk about the fun they had in the Dallas BEST robotics competition.

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

The staff at Dallas BEST have always done a great job and I would not change anything.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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.

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.

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

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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.

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.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

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

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

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

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I've taught 8 years and my students have participated for 7 years. BEST Robotics helps light the fire under my students to achieve their fullest potential. It opens their eyes to the numerous possibilities that await them after middle school and high school. For some, it helps to solidify the choices they will soon make for their adult lives. The problem solving processes and interpersonal skills learned here serve the students for the rest of their lives regardless of what kind of field they eventually choose.

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

I have students who have gone on from this contest to do wonderful things. I've had students whose parents come to me and say, "We never knew he/she had this kind of talent. Thank you so much for introducing our child to robotics." You can see it in their faces when the light bulb finally goes on for a student. BEST Robotics works!

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

Once the organization grows large enough, I would make separate divisions for middle and high school. I would also weight the GAME portion of the scoring in the BEST Award much, much heavier than the presentation portions...the GAME portion is where the excitement is...that's where we will win over students to the field.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I am an advisor in Houston County. BEST has been a GREAT experience for both the teachers and the students! We hope to continue with this great program!

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

Houston County.

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

None!

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

This is my first year of working with BEST Robotics and I am very impressed with their organization. They are very interested in improving the engineering and design understanding of the students that participate in their competitions. I am looking forward to many more years working with the group.

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

I participated in the competition that was hosted by this organization as a coach.

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

I would take more control of the competition scoring guidelines and create a simpler and more understandable scoring mechanism for competions that are sponsored.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

I teach a Jr. High robotics program and I have been a part of this contest for the last 5 years. I believe it is very benificial for my students to be a part of the competition because it helps build THinking Skills.
They must work together in groups to solve problems and accomplish the desired goal. During the competition itself, they must work under extreme pressure, solve problems within the time allowed. It's GREAT !

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

Dallas BEST HUB

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

nothing

 
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Review from Guidestar