RM BEST logo

Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology

Build a robot in six weeks;               
inspire a youth for a lifetime

Volunteer Newsletter
Issue: #14-005
Quick Links


Teacher / Mentor Institute

21 and 22 July
Auraria Campus 7th Street Bldg Denver
8:30 AM - 4 PM



  6 September

South High School
Noon - 4 PM
Practice  Day

11 October

Thomas Jefferson High School Denver
  9 AM - 3 PM

Game Day

18 October


Auraria Event Center


7:30 AM - 5 PM


Steering Team

Carolyn Bauer-Hub Director, Game


JoAnne Fry and Lori Lazuk-

Consumable Kits


Jose Lopez-School Interface


MSU Students-Protobot


Linda King-Volunteer Interface


Linda Scott-Secretary, Awards & Judging


Lois Walton-Budget


Patty Gaspar-Events


Scott McEwen-Venues


Board of Directors


Kathy Geise - President


Linda Scott - Vice President


Jose Lopez - Executive Director


Carolyn Bauer - Secretary &  Hub Director


Lois Walton - Treasurer


Tim Bouvia - Member at Large





Welcome to the May 2014 Rocky Mountain BEST Volunteer Newsletter - just a little late in sending this out.
We are ramping up our activities to hold our 5th annual BEST robotics competition and hope we can find ways to get you involved.

We start by looking back with a photo of Manning Middle School students from Golden at the 2013 BEST Regional Competition in Arkansas and by looking forward with our new 2014 Squeaky Mascot logo for the Blade Runner game.  This logo will be used on our new volunteer t-shirts. 


In this newsletter, we provide an update on schools interested in competing in 2014, include information about help needed this summer to assemble the kits and construct the game field and also about contacting us to volunteer at the 2014 events in September and October. We end looking at a new book, Dread the FRED, on the story of the 2010 BEST National Champion team from Missouri.

Hope to see you in one of our new volunteer t-shirts later this year! 

Please forward this newsletter to others who might be interested in Rocky Mountain (RM) BEST.  
2014  Blade Runner
Funding for 32 Schools Available in 2014

We were thrilled to begin with 35 schools interested in competing in 2014 including 3 schools on a waiting list due to funding limitations. One school could not find sufficient students, so we now have 34 schools interested in competing. Academy for Advanced and Creative Learning is now one of the 32 schools competing.

Please ask any schools that might be interested to visit our website or contact Jose Lopez at jlopez@rockymountainbest.org.


If you missed it previously, check out the 67 second Blade Runner Teaser Video . Is there a hint in the teaser about this year's game?

Volunteers Needed Near Term
Kit Team (June - August) and Game Field (July and August)

Monday Kit Team (June - August): The Kit Team is preparing the returnable and consumable kits that will be provided to each team that participates in the 2014 competition. A newly received grant means they'll purchase materials for and assemble 4 more kits this year! Until June 23, they'll meet Mondays at Club Workshop 999 Vallejo St #2, Denver near I-25 and 8th Avenue from 10 AM - 3 PM. They can always use an extra hand and no experience or specific skill is needed. A new location for Kit Team activities after June 23 will be announced in the upcoming weeks. If interested in receiving the kit team email for schedule updates and other information, please contact Carolyn at cbauer@rockymountainbest.org


Game Field Builders (July - August): Use BEST provided drawings to construct and assemble game field pieces. We expect to have final drawings available by early July with construction in July and August. Full assembly of all components and testing must be completed at least two weeks prior to 6 September Kickoff. Multiple separate components permit multiple independent helpers to separately construct their components. Tools needed include the following depending on component: saws to cut plywood, lumber, foam, and PVC; wood sander; paint brushes; drill for bolt holes; and bolt and screw drivers. Skills needed include: read drawings, construct using tools above, and assemble components with glue (PVC), screws, and nuts/bolts. If interested, please contact Carolyn at cbauer@rockymountainbest.org for more information.


Kit and Game Field Donations - We need ideas on obtaining zero or reduced cost consumable robot and game field materials. For example, we need lots of PVC pipes and wood. If you have suggestions or need more information, please contact JoAnne at jfry@rockymountainbest.org.

Volunteers Needed for 2014 Events
Kickoff 6 September, Practice Day 11 October, and Game Day 18 October

We are starting planning for this year's events and are collecting names of those interested in volunteering.


Please check your calendars and mark these events.


Most event day positions require no advanced training or specific skills and require from 2 to 8 hours of your time on the day of the event. These positions include setup, registration desks, pit monitors, first aid, staging crew, lunch set up, and venue cleanup. The Practice and Game day referee and scorekeeper positions require advance review of documents and attendance at a training session prior to Practice Day and compliance check positions requires document review. 


Please contact Linda at lking@rockymountainbest.org for more information or to get on the event volunteer lists.

Dread the FRED
Story of 2010 BEST National Champion from Conway, Missouri

In 2010, a team of students from a small public school district classified as rural poor from Conway, Missouri won the BEST National Championship. The underdog-makes-good story is the subject of a book, Dread the FRED, published by Paperback-Press, LLC, November 2013.


Joyce Ragland grew up on her dad's family farm - a modernized dairy business - but she could hardly wait to escape. "Get out and make something of yourself," her mother urged. At 17, college. Four university degrees, work in three states and one Canadian province,back to the US, and Ragland found herself downsized. Tired of the academic rat race, she decided it was time to retire back home, and write. After two academic books and various articles, short stories, poetry published during the academic career, she turned to fiction. Then she learned about her alma mater high school - still tiny and classified as rural poor - shaking up the national stage with a robotics team. On the shelf went the fiction (temporarily) and she began research on a YA nonfiction book first called The Life and Times of FRED (fuel replenishing energy-efficient droid), then Team FRED, then she asked students in the story to choose a title. DREAD THE FRED's book launch has sales off to a roaring start, and the author smiling! taken from Amazon.com.


If interested, this 158 page book is available from bookstores and Amazon.com for $10 (now on sale for $9) and is only $2.99 on Kindle and NOOK. A portion of book sales goes to a foundation for Conway, MO high school students to help with college.


NOTE: A few processes described by the students are different than BEST Robotics, Inc. guidelines. Teams shouldn't consider Conway's description of creating FRED as permission to stray from BEST guidelines.

We would not be successful without you!  We are looking forward to working with you in 2014.

Linda King

Volunteer Interface, Rocky Mountain BEST


 Follow us on TwitterLike us on Facebook