HSE BEST team competes in national competition

HSE senior Kendall Mason works with the table saw, building a practice game field for the robot. (Submitted photo)

HSE senior Kendall Mason works with the table saw, building a practice game field for the robot. (Submitted photo)

By Alexis Mavity

A highly motivated team of Hamilton Southeastern High School senior engineering students are hard at work preparing for an intense BEST robotics competition.

BEST is an acronym for Boosting Engineering and Science Technology, and the goal of this non-profit organization is to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science, technology, and mathematics through robotic design. For the past 21 years, BEST has sponsored a volunteer-based competition where more than 850 middle and high schools compete to see who can build the best robot.

The competition, though, is much more than just throwing parts together and arriving at the competition. Students will be using their robot to assemble miniature mock wind turbines on a playfield and manipulating other items on the playfield. The robot must punch a lever to obtain an Oversize and Overweight Permit, lower a bridge, relocate endangered PVC Prairie Chickens to a new environment, and then assemble a large and small wind turbine- all within 3 minutes.  An important goal for this year’s event is to teach students about the difficult logistics that come with alternative energy sources, like wind and solar.

Students must work to develop their abstract thinking and leadership skills, as students are the designers and builders of their robot, with teachers working only as mentors and advisors. Students must also create an exhibit and presentation to present their decision process and designs to judges.

The students of the HSE Engineering Design and Development course continue to dedicate weekends and after-school hours perfecting their robot design, striving to create the most efficient and successful robot for this year’s BEST competition.

The school buses will pull out of the HSE parking lot at 9 a.m. on Oct. 17, returning from Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 19.  Twelve students will make this trip to compete at BEST as the Royals take on teams from all over the United States in this intense competition.

Those wishing to support this effort can make a contribution to the HSE Robotics Club, C/O Mr. Wilkins at HSE High School.

To learn more about BEST Robotics, visit www.bestinc.org.

Alexis Mavity, is a senior at Hamilton Southeastern High School and member of BEST travel team

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