The very first Falcon BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) Robotics competition took place October 26, 2013 at Anderson Arena on the campus of Bowling Green State University with a thrilling day-long event. Presented by BGSU’s College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering and the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education (NWO), this event was the final “game day” installation of a six-week process by over 300 students from 14-area middle and high schools. Falcon BEST is a hub in the national BEST organization.
Teams competed in a robotics competition and had the opportunity to compete for the the BEST Award. For the robotics competition, each participating school is provided an identical kit of equipment and parts, a set of game rules, and was given six-weeks to design, build, and test a Remote Controlled robot to “outperform” other robots. Engineers, University faculty members, and other technical professionals from local industries served as team mentors, and advised and guided students throughout the design and construction of their robot.
The BEST Award was presented to the team that best embodied the concept of “Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology.” The 5 elements of the BEST Award included:
- Project Engineering Notebook,
- Marketing Presentation,
- Team Exhibit and Interview,
- Spirit and Sportsmanship, and
- Robot Performance.
This amazing competition, which the students fully embraced, teaches students how to think through a problem, analyze and solve it together, while building many skills, which include:
- Leadership development,
- Presentational skills,
- Technical skills,
- Organizational skills,
- Problem solving abilities, and
- Other areas of personal and career development.
The series of events began with a Kick-Off on September 14th, at BGSU’s Perry Field House, where the game challenge and playing field were unveiled, and thus the six-week long “design-and-build” phase began. This was followed by “Mall Day”, where the teams practice-drove their robots on a playing field set up at Woodland Mall in Bowling Green, OH.