The B.E.S.T. (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) competition is a nationwide contest which seeks to promote interest in engineering careers. To enter, schools or schooling associations assemble a team of students, along with mentors and adult leaders; the students must design, build, and market a robot charged with a particular task. This task, along with the general theme of the program, changes from year to year.
Components of the competition include asking companies for sponsorships, designing team merchandise, keeping detailed notes on team progress, building the robot, and creating a booth to showcase the team and its robot. Virtually any talent is useful in this contest, making it stand out from other robotics competitions in its inclusiveness.
Teams can advance in the competition in one of two ways. The first is based on the robot’s performance of its assigned task and the quality of the technical writings. The second way to advance is by winning the B.E.S.T. award, which takes into consideration every aspect of the team’s achievements. The top two teams in those categories will advance to one of three regional competitions. Companies who sponsor the competition also sometimes hand out their own awards; these do not affect the team’s eligibility for advancement.
B.E.S.T. is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about engineering and its accompaniments while putting one’s talents to use. To learn more about the B.E.S.T. competition or to find a team in your area, visit www.bestinc.org.