Auburn University to Host Student ‘Best’ Competition

Auburn University will host another outstanding competition this weekend but instead of football this one involves student robotic projects that will be featured at the two-day South’s BEST Robotics Championship scheduled for the Auburn Arena Saturday and Sunday.

BEST, for Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology, is a non-profit, voluntary program for middle and high school students. BEST allows students to participate in and be inspired by engineering, science, and technology projects. The competition set-up and other events are scheduled Saturday with the competition scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

BEST is the acronym for Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology. Students from 37 Alabama schools will compete against winning teams from Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Students representing the combined Decatur city schools robotics program, the Decatur-Austin Robotics Coalition, demonstrated their winning robot at the Business Council of Alabama and the Alabama Technology Network’s Manufacturer of the Year Awards luncheon on April 19 in Montgomery. The MOTY awards are a partnership with The Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama and the National Association of Manufacturers.

BCA President and CEO William J. Canary recognized the students for achieving the highest score in the 2012 Alabama BEST Robotics competition. “If you’ve ever been to a competition, you understand the excitement and the drama – you see students putting into practice the practical use of math concepts and applied physics – you see students solving real-world science and engineering problems – you see the best of BEST,” Canary said.

Besides being exposed to science-based curriculum, students learn to analyze and solve problems using the Engineering Design Process. It helps them develop technological literacy skills that industry needs in the workforce.

The Auburn competition will be live-streamed at Sunday’s awards ceremony is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.

BEST regional championships also were scheduled in Texas, Arkansas, and North Dakota. Each fall, over 850 schools and 18,000 students participate, according to BEST.

-Dana Beyerle