BEST is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization
whose 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 Robotics Inc. (BRI) is a non-profit, volunteer organization
based in Dallas, TX. 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.
- There is no fee for schools to compete in BEST.
- 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
- 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.
- Anyone—colleges/universities, corporations, individuals—can start a
new hub serving a minimum of eight teams. The average first-year cost
for running a 24-team hub is approximately $28,000.
- Local hubs rely on financial support from corporations and/or
colleges/universities in order to allow schools to participate at no
- Promote the growth of hubs across the U.S., thus maximizing the
“pipeline” of future engineers, scientists, and technical professionals.
- Increase participation of women and minority students in rural and
inner city schools.
- Enlist more colleges/universities and corporations to become
collaborative educational partners with BEST.
Attributes of the Competition
- Enhances teaching/teacher effectiveness
- Reinforces classroom learning
- Creates real-world academic challenge
- Increases students’ interest in and understanding of engineering and
- Exposes students to new career opportunities
- Provides competition/fun
- Promotes school spirit and sense of community
Benefits to Students
- Increases understanding of technical concepts and scientific
- Provides real-world engineering experience with limited resources
- Reinforces project management concepts with constrained time period
- Encourages abstract thought, self-directed learning, and problem
- Promotes team building, good sportsmanship, leadership, and ethical
- Produces pride in success