Thursday, January 30, 2014

National Robotics Week T Shirt Day

Hi, everyone!

In honor of National Robotics Week 2014 we are asking everyone who participated in BEST Robotics in 2013 to wear their Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics Game Day shirt on Wednesday, April 9, 2104.

Be sure to let everyone in your school know that you are proud to be a part of BEST Robotics by wearing this shirt on April 9. We will be announcing some associated contests later on, so watch this page for details.

Remember also that sponsors of Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics make it possible to provide these shirts to everyone free of charge. This gives us an opportunity to show that we are proudly wearing the shirts they gave us!

Teams are also encouraged to pick another day that week to wear their team's Tshirt. But please reserve April 9 for Northeast Alabama BEST Tshirts.

Again, watch this site for more details!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

National Robotics Week is April 5 - 13

Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics is gearing up for National Robotics Week, which will take place April 5-13, 2014. Watch this site for details on events to be sponsored by Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics during this week.

BEST Teams: This would be a great opportunity for you to share what you do with others in your school and/or community. Perhaps you could:
  • Arrange to demonstrate a robot at your school
  • Organize a fundraiser to support the 2014 competition season
  • Visit the classroom of a younger class and talk to them about robots. You might share an activity book or coloring sheet. The ones linked here are available courtesy of iRobot.
  • Select a day to wear your game day shirt to school
  • Or ????
We encourage all teams to participate. Please post your events to the National Robotics Week website and send details to to have them posted in this site.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Congratulations to Brindlee Mountain's Carley Webb!

Congratulations to Carley Webb from Brindlee Mountain Middle School for being selected as one of the winners in the BEST Robotics, Inc. GateKeeper 2013 Game Survey. The survey received more than 450 responses and Carley was one of seventeen students who won a prize.

Thanks to Carley's teacher, Penny Waldrop, for providing the photo and to Jubilee BEST for sponsoring the contest.

Monday, January 27, 2014

NACC Receives Grant from Foundation

Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) has received a grant from the Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs (NBT) Foundation to support summer manufacturing camps. The camps, part of NACC's 2014 Summer STEM Experience will take place the week of June 9-13.

The college plans to sponsor a number of camps this summer for the purpose of career awareness and exploration. Watch this site for an announcement regarding registration.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Kennamer Elected to BEST Board of Directors

Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics hub co-director, Dr. Mike Kennamer has been elected to represent District 3 on the BEST Robotics, Inc. Board of Directors. District 3 serves the following hubs in Tennessee, Georgia and northern half and eastern half of Alabama:

The goals of BEST Robotics, Inc. are to:
  • Promote the growth of hubs (local competition sites) across the U.S., thus maximizing the “pipeline” of future engineers, scientists, and technical professionals.
  • Increase hub growth among two-year technical colleges and four-year colleges and universities.
  • Promote the involvement of rural and inner city schools which often have limited access to programs of this nature.
  • Increase participation of women and minority students.
  • Develop new and foster existing alliances with national organizations that are stakeholders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education.
  • Recruit national corporate sponsors.
  • Develop educational partnerships with organizations, foundations, and corporations that are engaged in K-12 workforce development.
Kennamer's election is for a two-year term. The board of BEST Robotics is comprised of BEST volunteers and industry professionals. The board meets once a month by webinar/conference call and once per year at a face to face meeting.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mark Your Calendars - Summer STEM Experience

Mark your calendars. The 2014 Summer STEM Experience is being planned for the week of June 9-13, 2014. What is on tap this year?

  • Robotics for grades 7-8
  • Advanced manufacturing for grades 9-10
  • And more...
Keep an eye on this site for more information!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What Do Cats and Robots Have in Common?

Besides me being a big fan of both, according to recent a Business Insider article, researchers are emulating cats' whiskers to be input devices for robots.

From Business Insider:

"Cats get a surprising amount of data through their whiskers, which operate like biological sensors to detect moving air and aid in nighttime navigation. Popular Mechanics reports that scientists are at work to create whiskers for robots. It's called "biomimicry" — machines copycatting nature."

Click here to read more from Business Insider.

Students who participated in the 2013 Summer STEM Experience used simple whisker devices to control the movement of their robots. Look for more information about the 2014 Summer STEM Experience to be posted here soon.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Seeking Sponsors for 2014

Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics depends on sponsorships and contributions from area business and industry to provide the finances necessary to operate each year. Our sponsorship drive starts in January and runs through May with a goal of having enough money to operate for the year by June 1.

If your company would like to be a part of impacting young lives, please review the sponsorship page on this site and contact Mike Kennamer to discuss your sponsorship.

The funds raised during the sponsorship drive are used to purchase such items as trophies, t-shirts, game day supplies, and returnable kits.

Companies may become a sponsor for a little as $250. Promotional consideration is increased according to the amount of the sponsorship. For instance, companies who sponsor BEST at the $500 level receive:

  • Listing and link on the Northeast Alabama BEST website (
  • Listing in the Game Day program
  • Listing in the Kick-Off Day notebooks
  • Announcements about your sponsorship on Game Day and Kick-Off Day
  • Listing in the “Meet Our Sponsors” section of the website
  • Listing on Game Day T Shirt
  • At least one post about your company on the website/blog/Twitter/Facebook
  • Award named after your company – For example, the TVA Top Gun Award was given to the team scoring the most points in one round. The Fort Payne Improvement Authority Most Economical Design Award was given to the team with the lightest weight robot.
  • Invitation to present an award at Game Day
  • 2 VIP Passes to all BEST Robotics Events

Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics also accepts contributions from individuals. Contributions may be sent to Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics, P.O. Box 159, Rainsville, AL 35986.

Resolve to be a part of Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics this year!

Monday, January 6, 2014

White House Student Film Festival

The President of the United States has an assignment for you...

The White House recently announced details for the White House Student Film Festival. Check out Bill Nye the Science Guy in the video below and click on this link to learn more. Let us know if you participate so we can share your work on this site.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Congrats to Carley Webb from Brindlee Mountain Middle School

Congratulations to Carley Webb from Brindlee Mountain Middle School for being selected as one of the winners in the BEST Robotics, Inc. GateKeeper 2013 Game Survey. The survey received more than 450 responses and Carley was one of seventeen students who won a prize.

Ben Stobaugh, of Heart of Texas BEST, won the grand prize of a robot kit. Others won prizes such as Tshirts, caps, sweatshirts, and more.

Congratulations to Carley for winning! And thanks to all who participated in the survey.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014 from Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics

Happy 2014 from Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics! We enter 2014 excited to be a part of this crazy thing we call BEST Robotics. 2014 promises to be an exciting year as West Texas BEST develops Bladerunner, our 2014 game. Look for more information to follow, but if you have not yet done so, check out the teaser video here.

So buckle your seatbelts and place your tray table and seat back in the full upright position. Kick Off for Bladerunner 2014 will be here before you know it!