Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 Sponsorship Packets Posted

Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics has posted the new 2015 Sponsorship packet to its website. Individuals and companies wishing to sponsor BEST may access full details on the benefits of sponsoring BEST.

We rely heavily on our sponsors to assure the continuation of BEST Robotics in Northeast Alabama. If you know of someone who owns or manages a company, please share this link with them. Friends of Northeast Alabama BEST also accept contributions from individuals.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Kit and Game Surveys Now Online!

BEST Robotics, Inc. has released the 2014 kit and game surveys. Please follow this link to view the survey page.
The GAME SURVEY is for students. Please take this quick survey to let BEST learn more about you and what you thought of the 2014 game.
The KIT SURVEY is for teachers, students and mentors and will ask you to enter information about what consumable parts you did and did not use to build your robot.
Please be sure to indicate that you are from Northeast Alabama BEST in each of the surveys.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

BEST Recruitment Video Released

You saw the Super Chief video crew at game day. The videos they produced have now been released. Thanks to funds provided by BEST Robotics, Inc. the following video has been produced for the purpose of recruiting new teams and schools into BEST Robotics.

Interviewed on this video are:
  • Regina Parris, Fyffe High School Teacher
  • Sharlyn Huber, Ider High School Teacher
  • Jim Cunningham, Fort Payne City Schools Superintendent
Hubs across the U.S. will use this video to help recruit new teams into BEST Robotics. Check it out, you may be a part of it as well.

Friday, December 19, 2014

BEST Robotics Sponsorship Video Released

Georgia-based production company, Super Chief produced a video for BEST Robotics, Inc. and shot the footage at Northeast Alabama BEST's game day. This video is intended to help secure sponsors for Northeast Alabama BEST and other BEST Robotics hubs across the nation. Since each local hub purchases all the required materials for teams, industry sponsors are essential.

Look closely and you may recognize some of the people being interviewed on the video, including:
  • Regina Parris, Fyffe High School Teacher
  • Cade Bellamy, Bridgeport Middle School Student
  • Seth Weaver, Brindlee Mountain Middle School Student

This video will be shown to industry groups to help secure sponsorships to keep BEST Robotics operating in our area.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2015 Game Teaser: Pay Dirt

The teaser for BEST Robotics 2015: Pay Dirt has been posted. Looks like a great game!

Monday, December 15, 2014

#bladernnr South's BEST Results

Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics teams performed admirably at South's BEST in Auburn, winning the following awards:

  • Middle School BEST Award - Brindlee Mountain Middle School (highest scoring middle school in BEST awards rankings)
  • Hyundai Team Exhibit Design and Construction Award - Marshall Technical School
  • 2nd Place Most Robust Robot - Brindlee Mountain Middle School
In the robot competition, Marshall Technical School scored 1116 points to come in at 21st place (of 56 teams). Brindlee Mountain Middle School scored 1115 points and took 22nd place.

We are so proud of our Northeast Alabama BEST teams and look forward to being amazed at what these young people can do next year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

#bladernnr Thanks to 2014 Sponsors!

Now that the season has come to a close we want to take another moment to thank our 2014 Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics sponsors. Without the financial assistance of these sponsors we simply could not make this happen. Please let these sponsors know how much we appreciate them!

Gold Sponsors:
Silver Sponsors:
Bronze Sponsors:
BEST Friends:
In-Kind Sponsors:(The following companies have donated merchandise or provided a discount on the purchase of merchandise.)

Monday, November 24, 2014

#bladernnr Game Day Video Posted

A video containing several of the photos and video clips from game day has been posted to the Video page on this site.

Friday, November 21, 2014

#bladernnr Quote of the Day

I just wanted to thank you, and Northeast Alabama Community College for such an outstanding opportunity.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

#bladernnr Game Day Images Posted

Some of the images from Game Day have been posted on this site. Just click on the Photos menu to view the photos.

Watch for more to be added soon.

Monday, November 17, 2014

#bladernnr Quote of the Day

Students have been able to use their God-given potential through this outstanding academic program.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Check out Texas BEST Regional Live Stream

Can't make it to a regional BEST competition but want to see what it's all about? Texas BEST will be held this weekend in Dallas. Texas BEST director Dr. Ken Berry has invited everyone to share in the excitement of their game day this Saturday by participating in the live stream. You may access it at any of these sites:

UT Dallas BEST website:

The BEST website:

Texas BEST will run from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm CST this Saturday. Be sure to check it out!

Don't forget to Tweet with the hashtag #bladernnr.

Monday, November 10, 2014

#bladernnr Quote of the Day

We are launching a new website feature, called Quote of the Day where we will share a quote from cards and letters that we get regarding Northeast Alabama BEST.

Here is the first one, from a grandmother of a BEST student:

"This experience has been priceless"

Look for more quotes throughout the year.

Friday, November 7, 2014

#bladernnr Kit Return Deadline is November 21

Teams not advancing to South's BEST must return dismantle their robots and turn in all items in the returnable kit no later than November 21, 2014. Contact Nicole Carroll to make arrangements to return your kit. Teams are encouraged to recycle unused, but usable components of the consumable kit also. This helps to keep costs down so that we can continue to provide materials to teams at no cost.

Teams wishing to keep its robot may purchase the returnable kit. The cost is $971.79. Checks should be made payable to Northeast Alabama Community College and sent to Mike Kennamer, Northeast Alabama Community College, PO Box 159, Rainsville, AL 35986.

Please remember that you will receive the same kit next year that you used this year. Therefore, please be sure to keep your kit in good condition. Those purchasing their kit will receive a new kit next year.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

#bladernnr 2014 Northeast Alabama BEST Results

What great of competition we had on Saturday! This was the biggest and best competition to date with 12 teams and more than 500 students participating. And the bleachers were nearly full most of the day! Congratulations to all who participated!

The following awards were given:
  • Rainsville Chamber of Commerce Best Rookie Team - Cornerstone Christian Academy
  • Builders Supply Company Best Team Theme - Brindlee Mountain Middle School
  • DeKalb County Development Commission Best Website - Fort Payne High School
  • Governor's Office of Workforce Development Most Photogenic Robot - Brindlee Mountain Middle School
  • ABC North Alabama Blood, Sweat and Duct Tape Award - North Sand Mountain
  • Heil Environmental Best CAD Design - Fyffe High School
  • Berry and Dunn Office Equipment Best Tshirt Design - Fyffe High School
  • Redstone Federal Credit Union Spirit of BEST Award for Attitude - Boaz Middle School
  • Source 4 Manufacturing Spirit of BEST Award for Grit - Pisgah High School
  • Urethane Supply Company Spirit & Sportsmanship Award - Brindlee Mountain Middle School
  • Fort Payne Improvement Authority Most Economical Design Award - Bridgeport Middle School
  • Tennessee Valley Authority Most Robust Machine - Fyffe High School
  • Tennessee Valley Authority Top Gun Award - Brindlee Mountain Middle School
  • Founders' Award for Creative Design - Marshall Technical School
  • Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative Marketing Presentation
    • 3rd place - Brindlee Mountain Middle School
    • 2nd place - Fort Payne High School
    • 1st place - Fyffe High School
  • Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative Team Exhibit & Interview
    • 3rd place - Ider High School
    • 2nd place - Fyffe High School
    • 1st place - Marshall Technical School
  • Heil Environmental Project Engineering Notebook
    • 3rd place - Marshall Technical School
    • 2nd place - Ider High School
    • 1st place - Fyffe High School
  • Robot Competition
    • 4th place - Ider High School
    • 3rd place - Cornerstone Christian Academy
    • 2nd place - Brindlee Mountain Middle School
    • 1st place - Marhall Technical School
  • BEST Award
    • 3rd place - Fyffe High School
    • 2nd place - Brindlee Mountain Middle School
    • 1st place - Marshall Technical School
Congratulations to all for their exemplary performance. Marshall Technical School and Brindlee Mountain Middle School will represent Northeast Alabama BEST at South's BEST in December.

Friday, October 31, 2014

#bladernnr Practice Time Available Today

There will be an opportunity for practice on the playing field today at the Northeast Alabama Agri-Business Center. As companies will be breaking down from the Made in DeKalb Expo, teams are invited to practice between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Field time is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please limit it to two people per team on stage at once.

Exhibit booths may be set up between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Check with a Northeast Alabama BEST official to receive your exhibit booth location. Remember that all booths must  be set up by students. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

#bladernnr Exciting Day at Made in DeKalb Expo Today!

We had a great day at the Made in DeKalb Expo today! Thanks to our teams that set up their exhibit booths, giving a preview to expo attendees. We also had a group of engineers hard at work judging the engineering notebooks and all BEST Award teams got to do their marketing presentations. Congratulations to all teams for a great day of hard work on this 40th day of BEST.

Teams also got an opportunity for more practice. Here, the Cornerstone Christian Academy team took advantage of this opportunity. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

#bladernnr Practice Day at CEO Expo Today!

The field is set up at the Jackson County
Fairgrounds for Practice Day.
Practice day will take place at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Scottsboro today from 8:30 am until 1:30 pm. Remember that your project engineering notebooks are due to Nicole Carroll no later than 2:00 pm.

Our compliance manager, Dennis Lester, will be on hand to give each team a practice run through the compliance process.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Press Information Posted

Teams: Make sure that your local papers know about your participation in Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics. Tell them to visit the Press section of this website to learn about BEST and how they can receive press credentials for game day.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

#bladernnr Berry and Dunn Office Equipment BEST Tshirt Design

Have you designed a Tshirt for Game Day? If so, your team is eligible to win the Berry and Dunn Office Equipment BEST Tshirt Design Award. Judges will be looking at your Tshirt on Game Day, so wear it with pride!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

#bladernnr TVA Top Gun Award

The Tennessee Valley Authority Top Gun Award is given to the team which scores the most points in a single round. Simple as that. This may take place during seeding rounds, wild card round, semi-finals or finals.

Will you be a Top Gun...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

#bladernnr Game Day Schedule Posted

The Game Day Schedule has been posted to the Team Resources section of this site.

Game Day Schedule

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Northeast Alabama Agri-Business Center


7:30 a.m.                           Doors Open 

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.       Registration

·         Teacher/mentor in charge of Game Day must register upon arrival

·         Each team will receive the following in your registration packet:

o   Return of your engineering notebook (this must be in your exhibit all day)

o   Six Pit Passes for drivers and mentors (At least five of these passes must be issued to students. One may be used for a teacher or mentor. NO others will be granted access. Pit passes must be worn at all times while in the pit.)

o   Wrist bands for drivers – Numbered bands will designated driving order

o   Wrist band for team representative – This wrist band will be placed on the one student who is designated to speak to the Field Boss regarding any questions or disputes. According to BEST rules, team members may not question referees. All questions must be referred to the Field Boss through the Team Representative.


·         Access to the pit will take place only at the northeast gate ONLY. Do not use other access points to the pit/field area.  

·         Each team will complete a Driver Roster at check-in. Teams must adhere to this list and the order throughout game day. All drivers will receive a wrist band that will determine their rotation. Drivers must also wear a pit pass when competing or in the pit.


8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.       Compliance Check-in and Pit Set-up

·         All teams must be robot compliant or the team will not be able to compete. Read the rules carefully!

·         Any team that is not compliant will be given the opportunity to go outside and rebuild, make adjustments, whatever it takes to become legal. We want teams to compete!

·         Each team will be provided a table to keep their robot and tool box at all day in the pit.

·         A battery charging station will be located in the pit area. Teams need to bring their own battery charger and are responsible for charging their own batteries.

·         Tables will be set up in the pit area for simple tools. Saws, drills, etc. must remain outside.

·         Compliance staff will be on hand to assist and answer any questions.


9:00 a.m.                           Driver’s Meeting

·         ALL drivers should be in the pit by 8:50 a.m. There will be a driver’s meeting at 9:00 a.m. to review rules for the day. Attendance is mandatory for all drivers.


9:30 a.m.                           Seeding Rounds Begin and Exhibit Booths Open

·         Seeding rounds begin.

·         Exhibit booths should open and remain open until the lunch break.


11:30 a.m. – 1:00 pm       Lunch Break

·         All teams must leave the arena by 11:45 a.m.

·         If teams wish to make repairs/modifications to their robot during lunch they must remove their robot and make repairs outside the arena. The robot must then go back through compliance before re-entering the competition. Compliance will open at 12:45 p.m.

·         Lunch is on your own. The concession stand will be open and a list of local restaurants will be provided.


12:50 p.m.                        Line Up for Opening Ceremony

·         All team members should go outside to south side of building to line up for the opening ceremony. We will line up in team number order.

·         All BEST team members in attendance, including mentors and teachers, should be a part of the opening ceremony.

·         Mascots, bands, etc. may march in with the teams.


1:00 p.m.                          Opening Ceremony!

1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.       Robot Competition Rounds and Exhibits Open

·         Seeding rounds continue leading into semifinal and final rounds

·         Please keep your exhibit booth manned at all times

·         Be ready for spirit breaks by bands, cheers from your cheerleaders, mascot dance-off, and other fun stuff!


4:00 p.m.                          Exhibit breakdown may begin

·         All exhibits must be removed by 6:00 p.m.

·         All booth parts and trash needs to go home with you!


5:00 p.m.                          Awards Ceremony (TIME IS APPROXIMATE)


Mandatory meeting of teams advancing to South’s BEST will be held after the awards ceremony.

NOTES: Very important!! Please read the following to your students:

·         MUST WEAR SHIRTS AND NO BODY PAINT! Face painting and tattoos are acceptable.

·         No large flags please (such as those seen at football games). Large flags obstruct the view of others.

·         Only Northeast Alabama BEST volunteers, judges, and VIPs with credentials are allowed in the Hospitality Room.

·         No Frisbees, beach balls, or items that may end up on the playing field will be allowed. This is to ensure no interference with the playing field.


·         No walkie-talkies allowed in the pit and game area.

·         NO TAPE ON WALLS!

·         Leave the facility cleaner than you found it. Please take all trash, materials, etc. with you when you leave.

·         You are encouraged to bring pep bands, cheerleaders, parents, siblings, friends, relatives, mascots, and school officials to cheer you on. All fans will be seated in the bleachers at the south end of the facility.

Monday, October 20, 2014

#bladernnr Reminder: Engineering Notebooks Due October 28 by 2 pm

Remember that project engineering notebooks are due at practice day, October 28, no later than 2:00 pm. Your team demographic form must be enclosed in your notebook.

Friday, October 17, 2014

#bladernnr PrintCo360 is a Sponsor

We are pleased to announce that PrintCo 360 has joined us again in 2014 as an in-kind sponsor. They have been with us every year and do a great job printing the Tshirts and signs for Northeast Alabama BEST. If you are looking for a place to have your Tshirts or signs printed, contact the good folks at PrintCo 360 and see if they can help.

We appreciate the quality of work that they provide and their continued support of Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

#bladernnr A Little Corporate Espionage

Some call it research; others call it corporate espionage. Call it what you wish, but it's good to think about what is allowed and even encouraged in BEST.

First, it is an excellent idea to see as much robotics competition as you can. Even if you don't advance to South's BEST at Auburn, it would be excellent research for next year to visit to learn what others did to make it to South's BEST. Another good research method is to visit other hub's game days. All BEST hubs are required to post their game days on Eventbrite, so you can find out about other game days and visit to see how others have approached the problem. Since Northeast Alabama BEST typically uses the last available game day, there are two other approved BEST Game Days (October 18 and 15).

If you can't attend a game day, you can follow other BEST teams and hubs on Twitter and Facebook and see photos and videos from their game days. To find more BEST teams and hubs, connect with Northeast Alabama BEST on Twitter and Facebook as other teams and hubs follow us. All of these methods are perfectly acceptable and even encouraged.

So put away your spy pens and don't plant a camera in Mrs. Parris' classroom. And don't try to get information about the game before kick off. But going to other game days is just another method of R&D. In BEST terminology that means "Rip off and Duplicate".

If there is ever a question about what is, and is not ethical, do not hesitate to ask.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

#bladernnr Exhibit Booths at Made in DeKalb Expo?

Northeast Alabama BEST teams will have an opportunity to set up their exhibit booths early this year so that visitors to the Made in DeKalb Expo will be able to visit the booths and learn more about BEST Robotics. Teams have two options regarding the set up of their booths:
  • Teams may set up on Wednesday, October 29 so that their booth may be seen by those who visit the Made in DeKalb Expo on October 30. It is not required for teams to staff their booth all day on October 30, but teams are encouraged to consider it.
  • Alternately, teams may set up on Friday, October 31 between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm.  
Regardless of when teams set up, they should remember that all set up should be accomplished by students. Do not send two parents and a teacher to set up. As with everything in BEST, students must do the work.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

#bladernnr Check Game Q&A Daily

Just a reminder to check the BEST Game Question and Answer daily to assure that you are current with rule clarifications, field tweaks, and robot questions.

Monday, October 13, 2014

#bladernnr National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. As part of our observation of this important awareness campaign, we offer you an abbreviated version of the Department of Homeland Security's Stop*Think* Connect campaign Ten Steps to Smartphone Security.

  1. Set PINS and passwords.
  2. Do not modify your smartphone's security settings.
  3. Backup and secure your data.
  4. Only install apps from trusted sources.
  5. Understand app permissions before accepting them.
  6. Install security apps that enable remote location and wiping.
  7. Accept updates and patches to your smartphone's software.
  8. Be smart on open Wi-Fi networks.
  9. Wipe data on your old phone before you donate, resell, or recycle it.
  10. Report a stolen smartphone.
A smartphone is an important tool. Let it work for you by using it wisely.

Friday, October 10, 2014

#bladernnr Record Number of Page Views in September!

This site had a record number of page views in September 2014! With more than 1,500 page views, Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics organizers can see that students and teachers are taking advantage of the resources available here. Our goal is to post every (business) day of the BEST season, so bookmark this site so you have the latest information.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

#bladernnr Don't Forget Game Q&A Site!

We recommend that each team designate someone to check the BEST Q&A site daily to keep up to date with any changes or clarifications regarding the game.

Here is the direct link to the site:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

#bladernnr Field is Being Painted

The Bladerunner field components that weren't painted for Kick Off Day are being painted in preparation for Practice Day on October 28.

Get ready for a colorful and fun game field!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

#bladernnr Marketing Presentations Schedule Posted

The schedule for marketing presentations has been made available both here and on the Team Resources section of this site.

Marketing Presentation Schedule

October 30, 2014

Northeast Alabama Agri-Business Center

Rainsville, Alabama


Cornerstone Christian Academy
Bridgeport Middle School
Woodville High School
Fort Payne High School
Brindlee Mountain Middle School
Marshall Technical School
Lunch Break
Ider High School
Fyffe High School
DeKalb Technical School
North Sand Mountain School
Pisgah High School

  • Location – Agri-Business Center, Rainsville, Alabama in conjunction with Made in DeKalb Expo. Because this will take place as part of a marketing expo, there will be no place for teams to practice before they present to the judges. There will be a holding area where the next team will wait until their time to meet with the judges.
  • A minimum of 4 and maximum of 8 students should actively participate in the presentation.
  • Adults are not allowed to participate, including setting up or taking down equipment for the presentation.
  • An audience of no more than 4 adults/coaches can sit in and watch or video the presentation. However, members of the audience are not allowed to interact or communicate with the team in any way. Any interaction between the audience and the team will result in a deduction from the team’s score. Also, numbers of guests may be limited, depending on guests from business and industry who may watch.
  • Teams will have access to a computer & projector with internet access. However, teams may choose to bring their own laptop/projector for the presentation.
  • Be sure to double check the Awards and Judging Policies and the marketing presentation score sheets for specific information regarding your presentation.

Monday, October 6, 2014

#bladernnr New Documents Posted to Team Resources

Happy Monday, BEST teams! New documents have been posted to the Team Resources section of the website. These resources include 42 Days of BEST, Marketing Presentations schedule and Practice Day schedule.

Teachers: Please remember to update your roster as you add or subtract students from your team. If you add someone to your team we will need a signed consent form.

Friday, October 3, 2014

#bladernnr Practice Day Schedule Announced

Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics has announced the schedule for practice day.

Practice Day Schedule

October 28, 2014

Jackson County Fairgrounds

Scottsboro, Alabama


Team #1
Team #2
Team # 3
DeKalb County Technology Center
Woodville High School
Ider High School
Bridgeport Middle
Cornerstone Christian Academy
Boaz Middle School
Brindlee Mountain Middle
North Sand Mountain
Marshall Technical School
Pisgah High School
Fyffe High School
Fort Payne High School


·         Project Engineering Notebooks are due at Practice Day. Each team must submit their notebooks no later than 2:00 pm on October 28, 2014.

·         Please remember the Team Demographic Form that is required to be in your Engineering Notebook.

·         Each team will receive one hour to practice on the game field.

·         Lunch is not provided on practice day.

·         Practice day is part of the CEO Expo. Teams are encouraged to come early and stay late to participate in the Expo events and watch other teams practice.