AUBURN, AL (WTVM) – Auburn University hosts the 2014 South's BEST Championships at the Auburn Arena from Friday Dec. 5 to Sunday Dec. 7.
BEST stands for "Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology" and it's a middle school and high school robotics program that is available to all schools for free.
It is now the 22nd year nationally and 14th year in Alabama this program has been going on. BEST is the third largest educational robotics program in the nation.
This non-profit program challenges students to design, build and market a robot to use in a six week long series of competitions, which results in the south's BEST championship.
The championship is hosted by Auburn University's College of Sciences and Mathematics, the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction.
It will feature the top 56 teams from multiple states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana.
The local schools competing are Cornerstone Christian Academy, Eastwood Christian School, Lee-Scott Academy, Southside Middle School and Wetumpka High School.
This year the game has a "Bladerunner" theme. The teams will compete in a series of matches and the challenge is to design a vehicle that transports large wind turbines without affecting America's transportation system.
Teams will also compete to receive awards in categories such as engineering design notebook, market presentation, team exhibit, interview, team spirit and sportsmanship.
Awards are given out based on demonstrated teamwork, a positive attitude and enthusiasm, school and community involvement and creativity.
"BEST works because students are the sole participants and primary decision-makers, designers and builders for the competition," Mary Lou Ewald said, the director of outreach for the College of Sciences and Mathematics at Auburn University.
The objective of this program is to provide students with real world experience in engineering that incorporates practical application of math and science. The program also assists in preparing students for the workforce.
More information on South's BEST, including a detailed game description can be found at the website at www.southsbest.org.