ASU Hosts Robotics Competition for Middle & High School Students!

News Date
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Students constructing their project's robot for the 2019 competition hosted by ASU
ASU Again Hosts Montgomery BEST Robotics Competition, With the 
Event's Goal to Prevent Unnamed Virus Spread!
- A student centered in-person robotics competition about a real-world problem.
- Middle & high school students compete in teams composed from local, Central Alabama & Georgia.
By: Kenneth Mullinax/ASU 
On Saturday (Nov. 14) Alabama State University will host some of the best and brightest middle and high school students from Montgomery, Central Alabama and even a school in Georgia for the acclaimed BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) Robotics Competition. 
"Each year, the national BEST Robotics organization designs a new game for the students that is centered on a real-world problem. This year, the  theme is titled 'OUTBREAK' and has as its goal the utilization of a robot to help prevent the spread of a virus," said Dr. Derrick Dean, an ASU engineering professor and the hub-director of the Montgomery-centered, ASU sponsored event.
Dean said that those involved in staging the competition thought that the current coronavirus pandemic would serve as a good catalyst to inspire the students to immerse themselves in this year's event.
"We hope that using the creation of a robot by the student teams as a goal to aid in the prevention of an unnamed virus outbreak will excite the students to showcase their best talent and educational acumen in this fall's event," Dean said.
The University also hosted the program's inaugural event in 2019.
Dean said that the student teams, designated by schools, have been given this task with detailed requirements revealed and materials provided. The school teams are working on their various ideas to present their solutions to the theme on Nov. 14.
Dean noted that two other individuals at the University have   been instrumental in getting the competition to this point.
             "Both Dr. Ed Brown, dean of the ASU Graduate College and Felicia Taylor,
              the program assistant in ASU's Continuing Education     
              Department have been involved in most every aspect of making this event
              happen," Dean said.
              All the students will construct and showcase their robots in-person at
              Wetumpka High School on Nov. 14, with social distancing and
              coronavirus precautions in place, which includes mandatory mask
              wearing by participants, onlookers and the news media.
The Montgomery BEST Robotics competition is a part of a robotics competition held in the United States each fall. It is designed to help foster an interest in engineering careers for middle school and high school students. Schools and students participate with no costs or fees.
The event's guidelines allow any school to participate regardless of its socioeconomic status, size or location. Public, private and homeschool groups are welcomed to participate. The students are the primary participants and benefactors in the competition and perform all of the work. Engineers and other technical and educational professionals from local entities are allowed to serve as team mentors.
The 'BEST' award winners in 2019 were:
1st Place: Eastwood/Cornerstone Schools;
2nd Place: Wetumpka High School;
3rd Place: Holtville Middle & High School.
The 2019 Game Winners were:
1st Place Robotics: Eastwood/Cornerstone Schools;
2nd Place Robotics: Wetumpka High School;
3rd Place Robotics: Trinity Christian School;
4th Place Robotics (finalist): Macon County Career Tech Center.
             "ASU is proud to be at the forefront of encouraging local students to have an
             interest and becoming involved in boosting engineering, 
             science and technology-related projects, studies and careers," Dean added.
News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.