Sat. Dec 9th, 2023
    New Title: Straughn High School Robotics Club Gains Recognition at BEST Competition

    Straughn High School’s Robotics Club made a remarkable mark in the seventh annual BEST (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology) Robotics competition, held on October 21. The club, led by coach Stephen Bowen, is currently the only robotics team in Covington County, Alabama. The competition showcased the team’s dedication and diverse skill set, extending beyond building robots alone.

    With trophies under their belt, the students demonstrated their proficiency in various aspects of the competition. The team’s success can be attributed to their commitment to excellence and their recognition that the robotics program requires a multitude of talents. Bowen expressed his pride in the team, emphasizing that the program encompasses more than just robot construction.

    The BEST competition consists of not only building a robot but also other crucial elements. The team is evaluated on a marketing presentation, where they present themselves as a sales team, showcasing their robot. Additionally, an engineering notebook, booth design, and interview play vital roles in highlighting the team’s values and their development process throughout the season. Spirit and sportsmanship are also assessed, with students leading the team and providing assistance to other competing teams.

    Straughn High School initially launched its robotics program a few years ago, but it took three years for the team to compete. They began participating in BEST competitions in 2020, including a virtual competition during the pandemic. Returning to in-person competitions in 2021 allowed them to gain invaluable experience and continuously improve. Since then, they have participated in BEST every year, while adding the FIRST competition in 2022.

    The robotics program at Straughn High School fosters creativity, collaboration, and a growth mindset. The students are encouraged to push boundaries and learn from failures. Each season, a theme is selected based on a current industry need, influencing the design process. The team works with the materials provided to prototype, test, and ultimately build their robot. This hands-on experience not only builds technical skills but also teaches resilience and problem-solving.


    Q: How many schools participated in the BEST Robotics competition?
    A: Straughn High School was one of 16 schools that competed in the seventh annual BEST Robotics competition.

    Q: What roles are involved in the robotics program at Straughn High School?
    A: The robotics program involves various roles, including engineering notebook leaders, booth designers, and marketing presenters.

    Q: In addition to BEST Robotics, which other competition does Straughn High School’s robotics team participate in?
    A: Straughn High School’s robotics team also competes in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) competition in the spring.

    Q: How do the BEST and FIRST Robotics competitions differ?
    A: The BEST Robotics competition focuses on material constraints and a shorter scoring time, while FIRST Robotics allows for greater material flexibility and emphasizes the sharing of ideas and cooperation with professionals.