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The mission of BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) Middle and High School Robotics Competition is to inspire students to pursue careers in these fields through participation in a science- and engineering-based competition.
Over 850 schools - and over 16,000 students - participate in this free, annual program. BEST licenses hubs (competition sites) to interested organizations, companies, groups of individuals, colleges, and universities. BEST runs 48 hubs in 18 states. A map of these locations can be found at www.bestinc.org/b_best_hubs.php
The fall competition is six-weeks long. Teams of students are tasked with: designing a robot to complete certain challenges; developing an oral presentation; writing a technical notebook; creating an educational display; developing a website; and designing a team t-shirt, along with other categories. Each participating school receives the exact same kit of equipment needed to power their robot and the exact same set of raw materials from which to build the robot.
Teams work side-by-side with mentors from industry who help shephard the team across the six-week long "design-to-market" competition. They establish design and marketing "divisions" and function like small companies. Their efforts are judged by professionals from industry, education, civic groups, government, and the public in a day-long series of events.