Monday, August 26, 2013

TVA Continues to Support BEST

Jason Harper, Manager of Valley Government Relations and Darrel Smith, Customer Service Representative, of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) recently visited Northeast Alabama Community College to present a check in support of the Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics program, which is hosted by the college. Mike Simpson, of the Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative, also participated.

BEST stands for Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology, and was originated in 1993 by two Texas Instruments engineers. There are 51 hubs located across the United States, operating in three regions.

Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics was established by the college in 2012 to offer opportunities for students in grades 5 – 12 to become competent and confident in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) principles. In its inaugural year, ten teams and approximately 250 students participated.

The BEST competition runs for six weeks in the fall, and includes three events. On September 21, a kick off day will be held at Northeast Alabama Community College where the students will learn about their challenge, receive the materials they may use with which to build their robot, and attend training sessions intended to prepare them for the challenge. On October 24, teams will gather at the Northeast Alabama Agri-Business Center for practice day. This event, co-located with the Made in DeKalb Expo, provides teams with an opportunity to test out their robot on the actual playing field. And on November 2, teams will put their designs to the test by competing against other teams and the clock to perform specific tasks.

Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics serves DeKalb, Jackson and Marshall Counties. The teams already registered for this year’s competition include: DeKalb County Technology Center, Fort Payne High School, Fyffe High School, Ider High School, Marshall Technical School, Pisgah High School, Brindlee Mountain Middle School, and Woodville High School. Other schools are expected to register before the September 6 deadline.

The competition encompasses more than robot performance. Teams are judged on oral presentation, educational display, spirit, sportsmanship, interview skills, engineering notebook, and robot performance. The top teams will advance to the regional competition in Auburn.

Northeast Alabama Community College serves as the lead agency for the hub, but it takes a community-wide effort to put on a competition of this magnitude. Other partner agencies include DeKalb County Economic Development Authority, Jackson County Economic Development Authority, Greater Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Impact Learning Center, Community Action Agency of Northeast Alabama, and Alabama Technology Network.

All required materials and supplies are provided to participating schools by Northeast Alabama BEST, which also provides access to technical support and mentoring to BEST Teams. TVA has been a major sponsor of the initiative since its inception.

“TVA is pleased to be involved in this important initiative to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiatives in this region,” stated Jason Harper, of TVA.

“The Best Robotics program is a great asset in getting students at a young age interested in STEM jobs and careers,” stated Dr. David Campbell, NACC President. “We are very appreciative of TVA in supporting this program. This donation will help students find great career pathways that lead to jobs of the future.”

For more information about BEST Robotics, contact Nicole Carroll at college extension 2254 or Additional information may also be found at the Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics website, located at For information about Northeast, see the college’s web page at or download the college’s free App at the Apple App Store or by going to



Friday, August 23, 2013

Thanks to Sponsor: 4imprint

Northeast Alabama Community College wishes to thank local sponsor 4imprint for providing the lanyards to be used for this year's game day. This is the second year that 4imprint has provided lanyards for us, saving us hundreds of dollars.

The items provided for this year are break-away lanyards with a clip that will hold ID badges and a pit pass.

Thanks to 4imprint for their continuing support of Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

TVA Announces 2013 Sponsorship

The Tennesee Valley Authority (TVA) recently announced that it would continue as a gold sponsor of Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics this year. TVA officials recently visited Northeast Alabama Community College to present a check for this year's sponsorship.

We are excited to have TVA on board again this year and look forward to a continued partnership with them. Thanks to Penny Grace Judd and Jason Harper for their part in making this partnership possible.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kick Off is One Month Away

Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics will kick off the 2013 season one month from today. The Kick Off event will be held in the Tom Bevill Lyceum on the Northeast Alabama Community College campus on Saturday, September 21, 2013. Registration will begin at 8:00 am. All participants should be seated and ready to kick off by 8:25 am.

The schedule will be released soon, but expect to be here from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm. Lunch will be provided.

What can you do to be ready?
  • Think about key roles with your team. Who will do what? Plan to attend training sessions relevant to your role.
  • Brush up on your programming skills. There are a number of resources available at the BEST, Inc. website.
  • Review last year's 42 Days of BEST. Start to plan your calendar accordingly. The 2013 42 Days of BEST calendar will be posted soon.
  • Review last year's presentations at this site. Click on Team Resources in the menu bar.
  • Mark relevant BEST 2013 dates on your calendar:
    • September 21 - Kick Off
    • October 24 - Practice Day
    • November 2 - Game Day
Get ready! Kick Off will be here before you know it!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DeKalb County Technology Center Registered!

We are excited that DeKalb County Technology Center has registered for BEST Robotics this year. Last year, in its first year of competition, DCTC won the T-shirt design contest and performed admirably in other aspects of the competition.

We welcome DCTC back this year!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Brindlee Mountain Middle School Registered!

We are excited that another Marshall County Team, Brindlee Mountain Middle School, has registered for BEST 2013! Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics extends our warmest welcome to Penny Waldrop and her team.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New Sponsor: DeKalb County Home Builders Association

Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics is pleased to welcome the DeKalb County Home Builders Association as a new silver sponsor. Professional homebuilders, including the members of the DeKalb County HBA, are licensed, know what they are doing, and know how to work with you to get the job done. They are familiar with building codes and restrictions, and can give you expert advice about your particular project. You'll be much more comfortable if you rely on a professional for your building or remodeling project.

We thank Randy Wilson and all the members of the DeKalb County Home Builders Association for their support of Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics.