Published: Oct 19, 2009 11:15:00 AM
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The Student Activities Center at Auburn University was packed this past Saturday as mascots, pep bands and costumed supporters came to the 2009 War Eagle BEST Robotics competition to cheer as 24 middle and high school teams from across the region competed to see which could design the best robot to help with today's energy crisis.
BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) is a non-profit volunteer organization whose purpose is to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science and technology through participation in a robotics competition. BEST has 33 hubs, or competition sites, in 13 states; five are in Alabama.
Six weeks ago, the teams received their kits of standardized parts and were given the details of this year's game - High Octane - that challenges them to design robots to collect and employ common molecules (CO2 and H2O) and essential resources to complete a series of chemical reactions to maximize production of the alternative fuels. Since then, the students have designed and built robots for Saturday's head-to-head competition. A second portion of the competition tested the team's ability to market their creations using presentations, notebooks, displays, T-shirt designs and spirit.
Lee-Scott Academy won first place in the robotics competition, with Stanhope Elmore High School taking second and Auburn High School third. Wetumpka High School took first place in the BEST Award competition, with Episcopal Day School of Gadsden and Stanhope Elmore High School taking second and third, respectively.
These five teams will advance to the South's BEST Regional Championship to compete against 45 other winning teams from 11 hubs in the eastern U.S. The competition will be held in Auburn's Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum on December 11-12.
The public is invited to come see why BEST is the most effective K-12 informal Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education activity in Alabama schools for inspiring students to pursue careers in these fields. Admission is free.
For more information: www.wareaglebest.org