|Involved in the BEST Robotics prep course were (L-R, standing) Northeast IST/ILT Instructors Gary Hulslander and Dennis Lester; students Alejandro Orozco and Katie Dean from Fort Payne, and Collin Andrews from Geraldine; (seated) students Garrett Hall from Plainview, and Connor Blevins, Josh Simpson, Hayden Tilley and Sawyer Haney from Ider.|
DeKalb, Jackson and Marshall County students have the opportunity to compete in a robotics competition this upcoming October. The competition is through the BEST Robotics program: Boosting Engineering Science and Technology. BEST is a national program which inspires students to pursue careers in engineering, science, technology, and mathematics through participation in a sports-like science- and engineering-based robotics projects. Students in Grades 5-12 may compete.
Northeast Alabama Community College is serving as the district hub for the BEST program. “We are very pleased to help organize and sponsor the BEST Robotics competition,” stated Dr. David Campbell, NACC President. “As a college we want to encourage students to go into these science and technology fields and being a partner with local schools is a way to accomplish this. We at Northeast are emphasizing these careers and in fact soon will begin construction on a new mathematics, science, and engineering technician building on campus.”
Workforce Development Director Mike Kennamer is the Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics Hub Director. “We encourage schools to contact the district hub and create a team for the competition.” Kennamer noted that the BEST Steering Committee members are local business and industry representatives who see the impact the program can have long-term on the area and the future of the northeast Alabama workforce.
This past summer, local high school students participated in a BEST Robotics Prep Course. The students earned dual enrollment college credit and received training to prepare for the BEST Robotics competition. Topics covered include basic safety, basic DC electronics, servo motors, materials selection, mechanical principles, problem solving and engineering processes. Dr. Campbell stated, “We were pleased to provide this course for the dual enrollment students this summer taught by Industrial Systems and Industrial Electronics Instructor Dennis Lester.”
The Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics Kick-off Day is scheduled for Saturday, September 15 in the NACC Lyceum. The actual competition is scheduled for Saturday, October 27. Local winners will advance to the regional competition at Auburn University in December.
Dr. Kennamer stated that the Northeast Alabama BEST needs volunteers, mentors and businesses to become involved and that assistance from the community greatly will be appreciated. The Northeast Alabama BEST program initially was funded through state workforce grants and financial support from Northeast, including NACC personnel who are working with the project.
For additional information, please contact Dr. Mike Kennamer at college extension 2291, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional college information, go to www.nacc.edu or download our free App at the Apple App Store or by going to www.naccmobile.com.