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BEST Robotics Competition 2018

On Friday, Oct. 26, Grove City College hosted the BEST Robotics competition. Dr. Bright, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, began Wolverine BEST at Grove City College several years ago. This competition provides middle through high school students in the Western Pennsylvania area exposure to engineering, science, and technology. The Wolverine BEST challenge is one of only two BEST Hubs in the Commonwealth of PA. The event serves as an opportunity for Grove City College to showcase its nationally ranked engineering program.

This year, I participated as a Marketing Judge for the competition. Twenty-three schools participated in this year’s competition and I was to judge four of them on marketing presentations for their robots. The volunteer judges met before the competition to go over the rules and rating system we would be using that evening. The marketing presentations took place in different rooms in the Hall of Arts and Letters. There were four judges per room. The students, either middle or high schoolers, would have roughly 20 minutes to present their robot to the panel of judges. The last 10 minutes were set aside for any questions the judges may have. In my room, I was the only judge that was a student at Grove City College. The rest of the judges were faculty members at the College or local businessmen or women. It felt very much like I was on an episode of Shark Tank. After the students exited the room, the judges would converse about our thoughts on the presentation. Of the four groups of students, there was quite a wide range from students who were beyond prepared to those who were very nervous.

To me, I was very impressed with all of the presentations I had the chance to witness. These students clearly had ambition and drive, and at such a young age. I was thankful to have had this opportunity to meet new faculty members and the determined middle school and high school students.

A question one of the judges in my panel asked every group that presented was, “What would you like to do in the future?”

The answers varied from “I would like to be a mechanical engineer,” to “I want to graduate high school.”

My favorite answer was actually said by five of the students that went through our room that evening, and that was, “I am hoping to get accepted to Grove City College.”

Hearing this from such impressive and inspiring young men and women reminded me of how appreciative and thankful I am to attend an institution like Grove City College.

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