Welcome to NM BEST
New Mexico State University has served as the Hub for the BEST competition in New Mexico and El Paso,Texas since 2001. Every fall, teams of middle and high school students converge on the campus of NMSU for the annual NM BEST Kick-off where they receive a kit to design and build remote-controlled robots to accomplish a specific task. During the six-week competition, the teams work to design and build prototypes, participating in a mock competition during Mall-Day, and then move on to a regional play-off and championship.
Take plywood and a box filled with items such as PVC pipe, screws and other hardware, an irrigation valve cover, piano wire, aluminum paint grid, a bicycle inner tube, a BRAIN (BEST Robotics Advanced Instruction Node programmable platform), and something called a micro-energy chain system and try, within six weeks, to design and build a functioning machine that can perform certain, specific tasks in three minutes. What do you get?
You get BEST, 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. Each fall, over 850 middle and high schools and over 18,000 students participate in the competition.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education programs, like BEST, help to enhance the nation’s global competitiveness. Yet, there is a shortage of qualified people to fuel the growing high-tech workforce. The BEST Robotics competition is a hands-on co-curricular program designed to make engineering more inviting to students. The BEST mission is to engage and excite students in engineering, science, and technology as well as inspire them to pursue careers in these fields by bridging classroom knowledge with real-world experience. Through participation in our project-based STEM program, students learn to analyze and solve problems utilizing the engineering design process, develop technological literacy skills, enhance communication skills, and learn to effectively work in a team setting. It is these skills that industry seeks in its workforce.
As a result of participating in BEST, students…
- Understand the practical use of math concepts and applied physics
- Solve real-world science and engineering problems, training that is transferable to all academic disciplines and career pursuits
- Gain an increased interest in engineering, math, and science
- Understand what engineers do — the engineering profession is “demystified”
- Experience “design-to-market” product development
- Receive recognition and acclaim typically reserved for their peers in sports
Students become competent and confident in:
- Abstract Thinking
- Self-Directed Learning
- Project Management