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.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Official Hashtag: #Bladernnr

Be sure to share progress updates about your team on social media. You probably don't want to give away trade secrets of your design, but you can take general photos of your team hard at work. When you do, use the hashtag #bladernnr to share your post with the rest of the BEST community.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Read the Rules!

We were recently told that during the field viewing at Kick Off Day that some of you were told that there could be a negative score for a round. That is incorrect. According to the game specific rules there can be no negative scoring for a round. Also, some were told that you must hit the OSOW button to score any points for the round. That is also incorrect. The OSOW button is required only for transport and does not impact scoring from Prairie Chicken environments and other non-transport scoring. We apologize for this error but it reminds us all to READ THE RULES!