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Rocky Mountain BEST

To engage, excite, and inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science and technology through participation in an annual sports-like science and engineering-based robotics competition.

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New Hub Development

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Ethnic/Racial Minorities - General
Female Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Male Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)

Description

This Program works with Colorado community groups to bring a free 6 week middle and high school robotics competition to their schools. Rocky Mountain BEST supports these organizations by helping them become recognized by BEST Robotics, Inc. We host a New Hub Workshop to teach each new Hub's volunteers how to organize and conduct the BEST robotics competition and to identify the costs in hosting the events. Unlike other robotic competitions, BEST takes on the challenging task of obtaining all funding so schools can compete for free. We also help the new organizations raise funds to host the competition in the early years.

Within each of these Hubs, teams of students in grades 6-12 from different schools compete with the robots they have designed and built. Students gain much more from the program than how to build a robot; they learn teamwork and problem-solving skills. All teams must submit a Engineering Notebook that describes their design process and team demographics. Students who choose to participate in the BEST Award also learn to create and present marketing presentations and to create and support exhibit booths. The robotics portion of the BEST competition is free to schools. If a school chooses to compete for the BEST Award, they may have to do some fundraising for the marketing materials and booths. Additionally all construction tools, travel expenses, team t-shirts and sample game floors are the responsibility of the school, if necessary. Although affiliated with the national organization, each Hub is responsible for its own fundraising and is considered an individual entity.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

This program is successful if we have expanded the number of communities that are able to participate in a free BEST middle and high school robotics competition in our region.

Regional Robotics Championship

Class

Science & Technology 

Beneficiaries

Female Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Male Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Poor, Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent

Description

This Program helps fund a free Denver Regional Robotics Championship for middle and high schools that compete and win in a local BEST Hub Competition. Beginning with the 2017 season, we, with Metropolitan State University of Denver hosted a Regional Championship on the Auraria campus, inviting teams from the Hubs in the Rocky Mountain Area. Due to the success of our New Hub Development Program, we have expanded the number of Hubs (currently 4 in 2019) and schools (anticipating 80 in 2019) with a potential impact of 1000 students) that can compete in the BEST program. Prior to 2017, teams that participated and won in our Hub Competitions advanced to the Regional Championship in Fort Smith Arkansas in December following the Hub competition in October. Travel to this location was difficult and costly for our winning teams. Some winning teams had to decline attendance at the Regional Championship because they couldn't raise the funds for travel. This has allowed more teams in the area to compete in a BEST Regional Championship, and the cost and time involved in travel will be decreased for them.
In 2019 this program was expanded to host the event for 11 Hubs (only 4 in Colorado) and grew out of our donated facility at MSU Denver. We now rent the facility for this event, and that has increased our need for funding. We have also increased the activities and excitement for this event. In 2020 (if COVID-19 allows this event) we will host at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Provide a Rocky Mountain Region BEST Robotics Championship in Denver for free to schools who have won their local BEST Robotics Hub competition.
In 2020 we will host teams from Colorado, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Oklahoma and Ohio Hubs to compete in our Regional Competition!

Teacher / Mentor Institute

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Females
Males
Teachers

Description

RM BEST has successfully established an annual Teacher / Mentor Institute (TMI). Last year we expanded the workshop to 3 days and provided CEU credits for those teachers who signed up. This year we have changed it so that they receive more credits, yet have more in class time to have more hands on experience. The workshop helps teachers and mentors in the Hub Competition prepare themselves to be effective in leading their student teams through a successful robotics competition season. They learn team building, the engineering process, related software programming, some hands on with robot parts, and many more topics.
In the future, we plan to expand this program to create / disseminate curriculum that can aide the teachers in teaching this topic in their schools. We have not yet kicked off this portion of the Program, but hope to do so in the future.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We survey teachers before and after TMI and before and after the season about how prepared they feel to help the students succeed in the BEST Competitions. We compare the results from teachers who attended TMI and those who were not able to attend. We also use those surveys to improve TMI from one year to the next. We also solicit responses at the end of the class as to how to improve their experience, and incorporate their responses in the training the next year.

Rocky Mountain BEST Hub

Class

Youth Development 

Beneficiaries

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General
Female Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Male Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)

Description

This is the Robotics Competition portion of our organization. In this program, teams of students in grades 6-12 from different schools compete with the robots they have designed and built. Students gain much more from the program than how to build a robot; they learn teamwork and problem-solving skills. All teams must submit a Project Engineering Notebook that describes their design process and team demographics. Student teams who choose to participate in the BEST Award also learn to create and present marketing presentations and to create and support exhibit booths. Unlike other robotic competitions, BEST takes on the challenging task of obtaining all funding for schools. The robotics portion of the BEST competition is free to schools. If a school chooses to compete for the BEST Award, they may have to do some fundraising for the marketing materials and booths. Additionally all travel expenses, team t-shirts and sample game floors are the responsibility of the school, if necessary. Although affiliated with the national organization, each hub is responsible for its own fundraising and is considered an individual entity. RM BEST is an all-volunteer organization - there is no paid staff.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Since inception in April 2010, we have increased the number of students participating from about 125 to over 400.
In the 2011 competition, we had a team from rural Otis / Lonestar compete and progress to Regional level. Students from that team indicated that it made them aware of opportunities that they had never dreamed of!
For the 2012 Competition we added 8 schools new to BEST, including a schools from Breckenridge, Pueblo, Brighton, Parker and Longmont (communities new to BEST). In the 2013 competition we added schools from Eagle County (Gypsum). In the 2014 Competition we added schools from Trinidad and Cripple Creek for a total of 32 schools. Rocky Mountain BEST, SoCo BEST and Front Range BEST collectively served 46 schools in 2015 With the addition of Golden Plains BEST in 2016 we served 69 schools. In 2017 with the addition of Pikes Peak BEST we served 78 schools in Colorado and one from New Mexico. In 2018 we had 83 Colorado and New Mexico teams compete! In 2019 there were 70 schools in Colorado and New Mexico who competed in Colorado Hubs!

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.