Student teams excel at South’s BEST regional robotics championship
Middle and high school students put weeks of preparation to the test as they competed at the South’s BEST regional robotics championship held December 3-4 at Auburn University’s Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.
South’s BEST (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology) is a regional competition of BEST Robotics, a non-profit middle and high school robotics competition whose mission is to engage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) while inspiring them to pursue careers in STEM-related fields.
BEST Robotics presents a new challenge annually by revealing a game title and concept in mid-September that serves as the competition’s overall theme. For this year’s 30th anniversary of BEST, the game theme titled “Made2Order” presented the concept of students taking on global supply chain challenges using robotics for order fulfillment.
BEST teams were tasked with building a robot to compete in a six-week series of local hub competitions leading up to a December regional championship event like South’s BEST.
Student teams at South’s BEST competed to receive awards in not only robot performance, but other categories such as an engineering notebook, a marketing presentation, a team exhibit, spirit and sportsmanship.
By engaging in these project-based challenges, students had the opportunity to analyze and solve real-world science and engineering problems and develop technical and project management skills that industry seeks in its workforce.
This year, ten regional robotics hubs from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Mississippi brought 42 total teams to compete in various categories at South’s BEST.
South’s BEST welcomed energetic crowds, as the two-day event was free to the public, giving those interested in robotics a chance to experience the exciting, sports-like atmosphere. Droves of fans cheered, chanted and danced to show support for their teams, bringing items like custom light-up signs, flags and even musical instruments to display their school spirit.
Along the coliseum floor, student-driven robots competed in two game fields highlighted by spotlights while fan-favorite music created a concert-like atmosphere. Exhibitors and sponsors were showcased around the 3rd floor concourse. A weekend highlight was a Women in STEM Luncheon hosted by the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.
On the final day of competition, numerous South’s BEST awards in varying categories were announced, including the “BEST Award Winners” presented to the teams with best overall scores in all categories and final robotics “Game Winners.” This year, Stewarts Creek Middle School from Smyrna, Tennessee, walked away as 1st place Game Winner, while W.P. Davidson High School from Mobile, Alabama, received 1st place in the BEST Award category.
For a complete listing of the 2022 South’s BEST final competition results, final robot rankings and final BEST award rankings, visit the South's BEST Results Page.
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