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Best Robotics Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Federated Giving Programs, Philanthropy, Youth Development

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.

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Advisor

Rating: 5

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!

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 4

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.

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 5

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!

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 4

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.

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 4

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 !

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 5

Imagine yourself at a School Pep Rally. Most of the time, the jocks, theatre students, cheerleaders, dancers and Student Council members take the spotlight. But after the BEST Robotics Competition, my winning tech students had something to show off...not just their trophy and medals, but also a live demonstration of their robot's performance. With the help of our Volunteer mentor, Chris, we set up a section of the game field and showed our student body what we did to earn third place! What an ego boost for my tech students who had never been 'on-stage' and looking 'cool' in front of the middle school student body.

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 4

Great program for high school students of all backgrounds. Besides robotics activities, marketing and promotional requirements involve other disciplines and interests.

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 5

This was our second year in the Best Robotics competition. The students put in many hours of work to build the robot, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. I feel they learned several key concepts in physics, and they also learned some interesting facts about about working as a team. I hope the program can continue and involve more students than we had this year. The Capitol-Best Robotics rocks.

L Ellis

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 5

For the past 3 years I have entered 7th and 8th grade in the robotics competition. The engineering skills used during the process of creating the robotic have encouraged many participants to pursue an engineering career. The engineering process also strengthens higher order thinking skills as well as being highly enjoyable for the students. I would encourage any teacher who has considered entering the contest to do so.

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 4

This was the first year our school participated in BEST, and it was by far, one of the hi-lights of our year. Our students loved the experience even with all the long hours we spent working prior to the competition. I have parents and students who tell me they cannot wait until BEST next year. What sets BEST apart from other competitions is that EVERY child can participate; there is a job for everyone. It was also wonderful to see parents and members of the community helping our students. The skills learned during those six weeks are skills that only programs like BEST can offer!

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have worked with BEST Robotics for ten years in the Austin area. I would not have this kind of commitment unless I truly thought that the program helped students. Many students in the program have gone on to get degrees in the engineering, math, and science.

Review from Guidestar

Paul O.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Atchison High School in Atchison, Kansas has been fortunate to be involved in the BEST competition for the last two years. At first we thought it was only about building a robot. Then our eyes were opened. It is about building individuals, engineers, relationships, teamwork, new friendships with other teams, working hand in hand with others both receiving help and giving help to see success made for everyone. This is the most inspiring event I've ever had the privilege of experiencing.

Our first year, students went to the competition thinking it was just a competition. We found out it was the greatest kept secret in education. The competition shows all of the engineering experience along with the marketing of a product. This was so awesome to experience as an advisor for my local team. Our students were so pumped about how other teams helped one another, encouraged one another, demonstrated true sportsmanship, and exhibited the greatest passion for engineering. Wichita Home school helped our team during the first competition, and instead of telling the students what to do, they explained the process and the why's and hows of the robot. For this we are very grateful.

We have shown a short video clip of one of WSU professors getting into the competition to our school board and many others with access to our school website. The comments keep coming in that this is wild and crazy fun. Our school was so excited about it that we want to broadcast the next Kansas BEST event on the Internet for all to see how great BEST is.

Thank you BEST for inspiring and developing young minds and awakening a passion in me for Boosting Engineering and Science Technology! My life is changed.

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 4

I have been a faculty advisor for my school's BEST robotics team for the past seven years. This is by far the best real-life learning experience my students have. Apart from the obvious Math and Science, they also use their artistic abilities to work toward a common goal. The social interaction, leadership skills and competition are outstanding character-building activities.

We are a very small public school, with few extra-curricular activities available for our students. BEST provides an affordable, enjoyable and rewarding challenge for my kids. They anxiously look forward to kick-off day, when they learn what the new game will be. They then prepare for the competition after school and on weekends: spending much more time than any of our athletic teams do to prepare for their competitions.

A lot of our time is spent in fund-raising. Here is another real-life experience. The team learns first-hand how expensive it is to transport, house and feed 30 kids for a weekend.

Review from Guidestar