Take plywood and a box filled with items such as PVC pipe, screws and other hardware, an irrigation valve cover, piano wire, aluminum paint grid, a bicycle inner tube, a BRAIN (BEST Robotics Advanced Instruction Node programmable platform), and something called a micro-energy chain system and try, within six weeks, to design and build a functioning machine that can perform certain, specific tasks in three minutes. What do you get?

You get BEST, a middle and high school robotics competition whose mission is to engage and excite students about engineering, science, and technology as well as inspire them to pursue careers in these fields.

Through participation in our project-based STEM program, students learn to analyze
and solve problems utilizing the Engineering Design Process, which
helps them develop technological literacy skills. It is these skills that industry seeks in its workforce .

BEST video 2018: 2018 BEST YouTube videodownload

This years game theme is based around ocean pollution.

1. Did you know that over 1.15 to 2.14 million metric tons of trash enter the ocean each year.

2. The 5 most common items found in coastal cleanups are all single use plastics. They are: Plastic cigarette butts, food wrappers, plastic beverage bottles.

3. Plastics cause More than 80% of the negative effects on animals associated with ocean trash.

4. Ocean pollution kills more than one million sea birds each year.

5. There are dead zones in the oceans that have been created by pollution making life in those zones impossible for marine or plant life.

Here are some sources you can use to find out more about this topic.

https://www.noaa.gov/resource-collections/ocean-pollution

https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/various-ocean-pollution-facts.php

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/oceans/critical-issues-marine-pollution/