Best Robotics, Inc.

Rating: 4.82 stars   89 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Philanthropy

Location: 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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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered as a judge of presentations and competition awards for elegance and robustness. It has been a pleasure working with the Best organizers and seeing the excitement from the students as they perform. I have volunteered for other non-profit organizations and BEST is by far the most well run and organized program.

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

Our company employees Co-Op students from local colleges and some of the students we have met have participated in the BEST program. It teaches the students the fun in engineering and provides the opportunity for future jobs.

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

Provide more press to allow others to get involved in this exciting program.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a judge for the Best robotics competition in North Texas, sponsored by the University of North Texas. I have never seen anything like it before, it is far beyond high school science fairs. The students are creative, enthusiastic, and truly involved. I observed students testing, repairing, and retesting malfunctioning robots, moments before competition, all without adult help or even hints. The students knew their creations inside and out and were proud of their products. I also looked over their project logs containing preliminary designs, prototypes, and various refinements.

This is the best student program I've ever seen for getting high school students interested in technical and engineering careers.

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

Judging the results of all the student's hard work in building robots to perform a specific set of tasks.

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

Find commercial sponsors to help pay for more of the component costs. Some smaller schools were at a material disadvantage comapered to bigger, richer schools.

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

I have worked with BEST locally first as a faculty volunteer, then as a team mentor, and now as an assistant director for a local competition. It is amazing what middle and high school teams can do in a six weeks with very limited resources. It has stimulated interest in the engineering and mathematical sciences and encouraged participants to consider pursuing similar degrees at the next level of their education. It is a great organization.

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

I have been the benefactor of my involvement with BEST by students participants graduating high school and continuing on to college.

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

Make the competition two weeks longer. Six weeks is inadequate for what is needed.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

This has been one of the most influencial programs for our students! We had 25% of our school population participate in the program! Students learned things from all aspects of the cirriculum and alot of real-world experience was included! On top of that, it was FUN!!! I have to say alot of hours went in to it as well. I think because of this, our students took even more pride in their work. I am extremely proud of our team!!!! Regionals in our first year!!!! GO PRIDE TECHNOLOGY!!!!!!

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

the attitudes and accomplishments of my students!

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

Bigger and Better!!!!

 
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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

BEST Robotics has truly been a gift from God for so many students. I have been working with the program for about 3yrs. TThe program affords students to enhance their knowlegde in Science, Engineering, Technology, Math and even their writing and communication skills will having fun. This year with a Workforce grant in Alabama, we have afforded students in 23 of the poorest and highest unemployment rates counties in the State an opportunity to participate in BEST. The participation and enthusiasm is overwhelming. BEST is truly the BEST!

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

working with Macon and Lee Counties

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

Find ways for states to fully fund the program

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

REACH has been involved with the BEST competition for three years now. The students have gone from looking at the provided building materials and thinking “what do we do with all this stuff” to qualifying for the National competition. It‘s a testament on how well this program is put together and organized. From the challenging Kickoff day, proceeding through the engineering process, refining the product (robot) to finally competing on THE day, it is amazing to see how much is learned through the process.

However, I have to say, it’s the BEST competition that really gets my juices flowing. The students take theoretical knowledge they have learned throughout the school year and apply it to solve a specific problem. As a business leader in the community, I believe it’s these real life situations that drive home the desire to learn more STEM subjects in greater detail. What better way to learn the business world than having to market your own product in front of judges, develop a display to promote the BEST program and your product, engineer, design and build the robot and positively support one another including your competition.

Finally, experiencing the life lesson of getting along with team members and working together to solve technical and social problems is a wonderful experience. My hat goes off to this great program.

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

Bison Best, Fargo, ND and Fort Smith, AR

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

Have the National competition closer to south central US and only a few weeks after the Regional competition. I would also make sure volunteers and game referees know and understand the rules of the game.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Quite well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

Provides the opportunity to experience life changing situations.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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