Texas A&M University-Kingsville

A&M-Kingsville hosts 2006 BEST robotics competition for area middle, high school students on Saturday, Oct. 28

KINGSVILLE - October 26, 2006

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4143

Coastal Bend middle school and high school students travel to Texas A&M University-Kingsville on Saturday, Oct. 28, with artwork, posters, speeches and robots in tow.

The university will serve as the local competition site, or “hub” site, for competition day sponsored by BEST Robotics Inc., a nonprofit, volunteer organization which stands for Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology. The mission of the organization is to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science and technology through participation in a sports-like science and engineering-based robotics competition.

Specifically, the two parallel competitions are a robotics game and a design competition. Each team develops a robot based around this year’s theme of “Laundry Quandary,” in which a machine is designed that can retrieve dry clothes and place wet clothes onto a clothesline. In addition to building a working robot, each team fulfills the qualifications of the design competition by presenting the concept of their robot through a web page, team T-shirts, a  display and an oral presentation.
            In the robotics game, teams spend six weeks building a radio-controlled robot from a supply kit provided by A&M-Kingsville’s Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering. The robots will then compete with each other in a series of three-minute, round robin matches to judge performance. Elements to be judged in the design competition include a project summary notebook, oral presentation, table display, and spirit and sportsmanship.

BEST presentations, notebook competition and robot check-in will take place from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Steinke Physical Education Center (SPEC). Presentations and the notebook competition are not available for public viewing.

The robot game begins at 12:30 in the SPEC with an opening ceremony, followed by the seeding competition, semi-finals and finals until 4:30 p.m. The presentation of awards is scheduled for 5 p.m. in the SPEC.

Some of the qualities that will be awarded to the robots include creative design, elegance, how the machine pleases the eye and its sturdiness. Of the 11 awards to be given, the top achievement of them all will be the BEST Award, given to the team that best embodies the concept of Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology.

Currently, 15 middle and high schools in South Texas are registered. They include:

Flour Bluff High School; Port Aransas High School; Bruni High School; Calallen High School; Gregory-Portland High School; Tuloso-Midway Middle School; George West High School; Raymondville High School; Pan American High School; Harlingen High School; Harlingen South High School; La Joya Senior High School; San Benito High School; Edinburg High School; and the Laredo Magnet School.

Hub site A&M-Kingsville and the College of Engineering have provided the supplies, competition locations and necessary volunteers to allow the 15 participating schools to take part in the BEST competitions at no charge.

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