The BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) competition presented by Elliott Group was hosted by Grove City College on October 13-14. The BEST competition is a “middle and high school robotics competition whose mission is to engage and excite students about engineering, science, and technology as well as inspire them to pursue careers in these fields” (bestinc.org). The teams worked for the past six weeks to create a functioning robotic machine that can complete certain tasks in three minutes. This year, 22 teams and approximately 400 students competed at the Arena in the Physical Learning Center at Grove City College.
Bobby Keicher, a sophomore Entrepreneurship major, shares his experience at the BEST competition:
Coming from Cornerstone Christian Prep, had you heard about Grove City before?
BEST was actually how I was first exposed to Grove City, as the theme for the game each year is revealed in Pew Fine Arts Center (PEW) auditorium and the competition takes place in the Physical Learning Center (PLC).
What made you decide to participate in the BEST robotics challenge?
The first year was a funny story because I was actually forced into it last minute. At the beginning of the year I thought I wasn’t smart enough to participate in a robotics competition, but one of our presenters bailed at the last minute and my teacher thought I would be a good fit. It pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I learned to love it.
What did you enjoy most about participating in the challenge?
Part of the challenge was developing a sales pitch for our robot, which we presented in front of a panel of judges. The time I got to spend with my friends preparing for game day was my favorite part.
Did participating in the competition help you make a decision on whether or not to attend Grove City College?
Had it not been for BEST, I probably would not have even considered Grove City College. Through the program, I met Dr. Bright, who is awesome by the way, and visited the College many times before graduating high school. The program showed me that, even if I am not an engineer, I can still participate in the STEM field in some way. Grove City College showed itself to be a great fit because it is helping me take what I learned in the BEST competition and apply it to the real world, which, if you think about it, is the point of the competition – to get students interested in STEM careers. That is why I am so thankful that I got involved.