In its 30th Season BEST Robotics Outlines What it Takes to Be BEST
What will it take for you to be the BEST?
PITTSBURGH, PA, USA, August 4, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — In thirty days. Thousands of middle and high school students, organized in teams, together with their mentors, will participate in one of the most daring skills development programs globally, the BEST competition. A program for those who do not need a solution to create one. It is called BEST for several great reasons.
The Journey to Become BEST
Thirty years ago, two very fine Texas Instruments engineers had the idea of putting together a fun and exciting program to help develop STEM skills. Just as in the real workforce, the more students participate, the more challenges students take on.
The more students invest in the competition, the more students develop and own skills that stay with them for a lifetime. The BEST experience is like developing a new skin, according to founders Steve Marum and Ted Mahler, but this skin becomes stronger and more diverse as it grows. The key to that evolution is the synergy students have between themselves and their team members. Students learn to leverage the other members’ and mentors’ skills, strengths, and expertise to evolve their own understanding, creativity, and skills.
BEST is unique in its ability to evolve students into meta-learners, which is the process in which learners become aware of and are in control of how they learn best. We help students become aware of and control their habits of perception, inquiry, curiosity, and growth – which evolve into a lifelong approach to learning.
Mentoring and training BEST students for over 22 years, my msg to them is: “Reach for the moon; if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars.”
Who and what is BEST?
One way to answer is to ask the students and mentors who invest everything to complete the BEST skills and creativity Bootcamp program. As the new BEST eight-week program begins, teams of students will discover and engage with a set of engineering problems and challenges titled “Made 2 Order.” In this problem-based learning (PBL) opportunity, teams across the country will seek to find solutions, develop a strategy and design a robot to address the issues they identify.
Teams must design and build solutions and are often tasked with challenges across disciplines, including engineering, coding, marketing, budget, communication, etc. Each team must evaluate the challenge and identify the most pressing problems to be solved. After prioritizing the issues, they must formulate both a vision and a strategy around how to resolve these issues.
Each team will have opportunities to design, research, build, present, and be interviewed about the program theme they are working on within a real-life exhibition booth. In the season of Made 2 Order, they will be interpreting and addressing the global crisis occurring within the Supply Chain.
Students will also get into the business of video production and may be on camera as they design, script, cast, and produce a video they will share with the public.
Teams will be preparing their business plans and making a live pitch in front of industry leaders, a critical skill that many adult entrepreneurs find challenging and a great skill to master early in their careers. During their pitch, students receive on-the-spot professional feedback, which is also part of their program.
Using one of the most sophisticated coding tools available, Simulink, provided by our BEST partner, MathWorks, teams will participate in a series of challenges:
Code and experience autonomous driving sensors and their contribution to the function of the robot they designed and built.
They will pass the autonomous driving test, often used in graduate school MSE in Robotics.
They will participate in a 3D Online Modeling Competition.
The team will send a driver and spotter to participate in a timed head-to-head competition against other teams using the robot they designed and built to test their robot’s performance.
Entrepreneurship, Engineering, and Documentation
The team will fill in an engineering journal ensuring that their ideas are organized and captured, a first step to ensuring their creative ideas are documented if they would like to secure their intellectual property or truly find something so innovative it disrupts the industry as we know it.
The team will also need to submit their engineering drawings for review, and they will also research and post content on their uniquely designed website focused on the theme of the season as they experience it.
Enhancing Creativity with Online Simulation and Play
In addition to supply chain challenges, teams will also engage in a Minecraft challenge specially designed each year by the University of Texas in Dallas research team. Although we cannot reveal the details of this challenge, it will surely enhance creativity, problem-solving, self-direction, collaboration, and other life skills.
You would be wrong if you think BEST is only what is shared above. In addition to developing all these skills and taking on all these challenges, students must make eight weeks of endless commitment towards working their utmost as team members. Because in the end, the individuals within the team must collaborate, communicate and work together to make decisions, pick strategic directions and build the best solutions greater than any one individual can do alone.
What does BEST really focus on?
We welcome you as you turn your creativity and talent towards BEST. Why don’t you be the judge of it by participating in BEST, or alternatively, working with these unbelievable students who take on some of the most complex tasks? Be their mentor, their industry partner, or university partner.
BEST leadership is humbled that Made 2 Order program is led and co-created by our co-founders, Steve Marum and Ted Mahler.
If you have questions about BEST, please contact Mr. Michael Steiner, BEST Executive Director.