Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology
BEST is a national non-profit organization with the mission to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science and technology through participation in a sports-like, science and engineering-based robotics competition.
The two main areas of volunteer opportunities for professionals/industry are as judges and mentors.
There is no prep work involved to judge. It is each team's responsibility to educate the judges about the game and the theme, and rubrics are provided with scoring point values to make it easy for the judges and to keep scoring consistent on the national level.
The table below lays out the judging opportunities. These numbers are approximate and are based on 30 teams participating this season. Every attempt is made to keep the judge volunteer time to 2-4 hours or less for most positions. With more judges, the number of hours involved decreases. With fewer judges, the time increases. One judge may volunteer in multiple areas.
BEST Robotics Judging Needs (Based on estimate of 30 teams participating)
# of Judges
|Engineering Notebooks||30+||Thursday before Game Day|
(On judge’s own schedule)
(judging 4 books)
|The notebook includes the team’s Engineering Design Process, problem analysis, brainstorming approaches and strategies. Judges will evaluate at least four notebooks, but may score them all if desired! The time per book will vary but is estimated at 30 minutes. The notebooks are submitted electronically (pdfs) so these judges can be off-site and still volunteer!|
|Marketing Presentations||20+||Game Day|
(judging 4-5 teams)
|Each team has a 30 minute block of time to 'sell' their product to the judges who are acting as prospective buyers. Judging is done in groups of three or more.|
|Team Exhibits and Interviews||20+||Game Day|
(9 a.m. - 1 p.m.)
(judging 5 teams)
|Teams have a booth set-up like a trade-show to share how they have “Boosted Engineering Science and Technology” related to game theme. Judges interview teams in groups of two or more (15 minutes per visit).|
|Spirit and Sportsmanship||5 - 8||Game Day|
|Judges evaluate team spirit and sportsmanship activities throughout the Game Day competition. Judges observe all teams.|
|Founders Award for Creative Design||3+||Game Day||2+ hrs.|
|Judges watch robots compete to find the team that makes the best use of the engineering design process considering strategy of the game in machine design.|
Most Robust Machine
|Judges watch robots compete throughout the competition matches to find the robot that requires the least maintenance and is generally the sturdiest machine during the competition.|
There are also mentoring opportunities. This would cover the entire six-week program (September 7 – October 19).
Mentors can work with one specific team through the six weeks of the program or they could act as a resource for all teams to contact if there is a special skill the mentor wants to make available to all.
If distance would make it difficult for a coach/mentor to be a physical presence for a specific team, there are certainly Skype possibilities!