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North Lamar robotics instructor, Eric Loveless, helps students Jacob Hawthorne, Heather Armstrong and Abram Reimer troubleshoot their design for the BEST Hub Robotics competition. Fifteen students from Stone Middle School will travel to Texas A&M Commerce in mid October to compete with their robot.
Looking to improve at the BEST Hub Robotics competition on October 20 at Texas A&M Commerce is Eric Loveless’s robotics class from Stone Middle School. This year marks the third year that Stone Robotics has competed in BEST, and they aim to capture awards and finish higher than the previous two years. Last year they won two awards and finished in 7thplace.
Loveless says the robotics team has a huge challenge in front of them. “This year’s theme is space. We have to build a robot that can climb a 10 foot c strut unit but can also pick up certain objects to be taken up to ‘space’. We went to Commerce on September 8th and left scratching our heads on what to do. This is by far the hardest event we have competed in.”
The requirements are the same as they have been in the past: six weeks to build a robot with materials that consist of PVC pipe, wood, screws, and a few other pieces. Already four weeks into the competition, they have completed a robot that can climb the c strut unit.
“We are almost finished with the arm,” said Loveless. “The students have done a great job with getting the robot completed in the time frame we have.”
BEST Robotics Inc. (BRI) is a non-profit, volunteer organization based in Dallas, Texas. It started in 1993 with 14 competing schools and 221 students. Today BEST has over 700 middle and high schools and over 10,000 students participating each fall. BEST’s mission is to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science, and technology through participation in a sports-like, science and engineering-based robotics competition.
BEST features two parallel competitions: A robotics game, which is based upon an annual theme with four teams competing at once in a series of three-minute, round-robin matches. The BEST Award, which is presented to the team that best embodies the concept of Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology. Elements include a project summary notebook, oral presentation, table display, and spirit and sportsmanship. Each school is provided kits of equipment and parts, a set of game rules, and given six weeks to design, build, and test a small Radio/Controlled (R/C) robot that outperforms other robots.
Winning teams from local competition sites (called “hubs”) advance to regional championship sites (“regionals”). Engineers and other technical professionals from local industries serve as team mentors who advise and guide students through the design and construction of their machines.
Community members and businesses that have made this project possible for Stone’s Robotic team are NLISD Maintenance Department, Tom Carl for the donation of two laptops, Campbell’s Soup, and Purvis Industries.