Auburn University to host Alabama BEST student teams Oct. 12 as they test robotic projects

AUBURN – Teams from 24 Alabama middle and high schools participating in the 2008 Alabama BEST robotics competition will give their robots a trial run on Sunday, Oct. 12, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Colonial-University Mall in Auburn. Alabama BEST is co-sponsored by the Auburn University Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and the Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics. BEST stands for Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology.

Last month, the teams traveled to the Auburn campus to receive their kits of standardized parts and learn the details of this year’s game, Just Plane Crazy, which challenges teams to design a robot capable of assembling aircraft in a simulated plant using the latest manufacturing processes. Since then, the students have designed and built robots for the upcoming head-to-head competition that will take place on the Auburn campus on Saturday, Oct. 25.

Mall Day, as this phase of the competition is called, provides students with a chance to check out the competition and to test their robots on the game field before the actual competition.

“Sometimes what works on paper doesn’t work on the field,” said George Blanks, director of K-12 Engineering Outreach and Alabama BEST co-director. “If the students find problems, they have two weeks to rework their designs. It is always interesting to see the variety of approaches that they take.”

The public is invited to come see why BEST is the most effective K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education activity in Alabama schools for inspiring students to pursue careers in engineering.

For more information on Alabama BEST go to www.alabamabest.org.

Contact: Cheryl Cobb, (334) 844-2220 (cobbche@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)