Eruditio Gives Back: BEST Robotics Part 2

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I still remember the first time I ever saw a robot; it was love at first sight. Fast forward from that experience to present day and my love for automation has only intensified. When given the opportunity to share that passion with the young people that hold the keys to our future, I made myself available. The name of the most recent event I attended is BEST, which stands for Boosting Engineering Science and Technology, the competitors are middle school to high school aged students. The students are all part of robotics clubs sponsored by schools and businesses in their communities, the event itself is sponsored by Nissan and TVA, while it was hosted at Lipscomb University on November second. Every year the competition is themed, this year the theme was called “Off the grid” and the students were tasked with designing and building a robot that could rebuild the power infrastructure after a natural disaster. The beauty of this competition is even though it is centered around Science Technology Engineering and Math, there truly is a place for every type of interest. The students must market the team and the robot not just to the community sponsors, but also to the potential customers (judges) of the product. The marketing and spirit events are equally as entertaining and intriguing as the robotics competition, these students showcase these skills by building themed booths, business models, product specifications, process maps, and merchandise. The students are also graded on the mentor-ship programs they create and their ability to attract more students to their programs. The winner of the competition travels to Auburn University to compete again and believe me these students are spirited and up for the challenge. Meeting the rising stars of not only the STEM fields, but young artists and entrepreneurs as well. I spent a Saturday with the future, and it appears to be in good 1

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