Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Taft, Flour Bluff High School Teams Finish on Top at BEST Robotics Competition

KINGSVILLE - October 22, 2007

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

Annual event sponsored by A&M-Kingsville Dotterweich College of Engineering

Teams from Taft High School and Flour Bluff High School were the big winners at the Coastal Bend 2007 BEST Robotics and Science Competition, hosted at Texas A&M University-Kingsville Saturday, Oct. 13.

Seven high school teams pitted their original robot designs against each other to see which were the best at retrieving items, taking the items to a receiving area and dropping them off. Each design had to be patterned after construction robots used in current space missions, such as the Mars Rover, in keeping with the competition theme of “2007 BEST: 2021: A Robot Odyssey.”

A second contest also took place called the BEST Competition. The main objective in this competition was to allow the schools to exhibit their ability to market and advertise their robot. Students were expected to give an oral presentation, provide a table display, design a T-shirt and develop a notebook that documented their robot building experience.

At the end of the afternoon, Taft High School won first place in the BEST Robotics Competition and Flour Bluff High School was the first place winner in the BEST Competition. The two teams now advance to regional competition at Texas Tech University Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

The seven teams competing were:

Ben Bolt High School
Bruni High School
Calallen High School
Flour Bluff High School
Ingleside High School
Port Aransas High School
Taft High School

Individual robotics and design awards also were given in a number of categories. The complete award list is as follows:

Robotics Competition
First Place - Taft High School
Second Place - Calallen High School
Third Place - Bruni High School
Fourth Place - Flour Bluff High School

BEST Competition
First Place - Flour Bluff High School
Second Place - Calallen High School
Third Place - Port Aransas High School

Best Newcomer Robot Award - Taft High School (awarded to a new team for robotic design)

Best Newcomer BEST Award - Taft High School (awarded to a new team in BEST Competition)

Game Specific Award - Calallen High School (awarded for the best overall score in BEST Robotics Competition)

Most Photogenic Machine - Port Aransas High School (awarded for the most eye-pleasing robot)
Best T-Shirt Design - Flour Bluff High School (awarded for the best original Competition Day T-shirt)

Most Elegant Machine - Taft High School
(awarded to the team whose robot demonstrates the best design and execution of the game)

Founder’s Award for Creative Design - Taft High School (awarded for best use of the engineering process in consideration of offensive and defensive capabilities in robot design)

The seven competing schools represent the remaining teams from 12 that participated in the BEST Competition kick-off on Sept. 1, also held at Texas A&M-Kingsville, where the student teams received competition guidelines and supplies. The robot designers returned to campus Oct. 6 for Demo Day to test their designs on the course prior to the final competition.

For the second year in a row, hub site A&M-Kingsville and the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering provided the robot kits, competition location and volunteers—all of which allow the participating schools to take part in the BEST competitions at no charge.

BEST Robotics Inc. is a nonprofit, national volunteer organization. BEST 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.

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