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Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology

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

Teacher / Mentor Newsletter 4
Issue: 2016 Newsletter 4
Quick Links
2016 BET THE FARM Logo  


3 September
Noon - 4:30 PM
Denver South High School

Practice Day

8 October
9 AM - 3:00 PM
Aurora Frontier P-8

Game Day

Saturday, 15 October
7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Auraria Event Center, Denver

Greetings Rocky Mountain BEST
2016 Teachers and Mentors! 
IMPORTANT For Your Team: 
  1. DON'T FORGET to register your school on Eventbrite! You signed up weeks ago, NOW you need to register with Eventbrite. Only 5 schools are currently registered: DSST Byers; New Vista; Aurora Frontier; Mrachek MS; and Manning MS.  Register your school using this link: 2016 RM BEST Eventbrite Registration LinkInclude your contact information and a secondary POC contact information and school address. Your School MUST be registered prior to September in order to receive Software Licenses and Kits. If you decide NOT to compete in 2016, please let us know ASAP! 
  2. A CHANGE to Practice Day Event location: The 8 October event is NOW at Aurora Frontier P-8 at 3200 S Jericho Way, Aurora near E470 and Hampden Avenue. Thanks to Gwynn Moore and the staff at this Aurora Public School for hosting us.
Included in this email are the following 4 sections. Click on green title link to go directly to a section:
  1. Pre-Kickoff Training Materials: 1.  bESTology educational activities are now available on-line for you and your students including HINTS for the 2016 game - bESTology Link. 2. July Teacher / Mentor Institute (TMI) Training Materials available now for you and your students.
  2. 3 September Kickoff Preview - initial directions with a separate email to be sent approximately 25 August with more details. 
  3. Colorado BEST Robotics Schools - Colorado schools currently signed up for all 4 BEST Hubs. We are excited to have 29 schools signed up (AND still need 24 schools to register). Rocky Mountain and Front Range BEST now are using waiting lists for any new schools signed up.
  4. Teacher / Mentor Institute- sharing some of the fun with TMI mini-robot and team photos
Please forward this newsletter to others who might be interested in Rocky Mountain (RM) BEST.
STARTStart Working with Your Students
bESTology and Teacher / Mentor Institute Resources
You do not need to wait until 3 September Kickoff to start working with your students to prepare them for the competition. Here are some suggestions:
  • bESTology - the 2016 materials and even past year materials are available on the web for you and your students to use today. Here is the list of 2016 topics with hints for the 2016 game. HINT: check out Week 7 for a new team part option.
Week 1 - Break New Ground 
Introduction to farming and agriculture
Farm phrases
Evernote and the BEST Farm Journal
Consumable kit applications for the farm
Exploring the Cooperative Extension Service
Week 2 - Let's Talk Farm 
Farming and agriculture terminology
Marketing and Business
Week 3 - Germination of Agriculture and Farming 
Historic overview of farming and agriculture
Mind Mapping
Beef Basics
Week 4 - BEST Digs Soil 
Soil and Science
Geology of the U.S.
Crop rotation
Week 5 - Fields of Opportunities 
Career choices and skill sets
Women in agriculture
Creating an organization chart
Meet your grocer and thank a farmer
Week 6 - Comparing Apples to Oranges 
America's cash crops
Crop forecasts and economics
Impact of automation on crops
Week 7 - Circling the Farm 
Center Pivot Irrigation
3-D printing
Pi and farming
Week 8 - Plant Safety First
Safety protocols on a farm
Food safety
BEST practices for safety
Week 9 - Seeds of Knowledge
Genetically modified organisms (GMO's)
Value of bees
Svalbard Seed Vault
Week 10 - Don't Be A Pest
Pesticides, Herbicides and Fungicides
EPA and regulations
Week 11 - Robots Have Arrived
Farming sustainability and automation
Farm and agriculture robots
Farms of the future
Week 12 - It's Time to Grow Up
Vertical farming
Week 13 - When Pigs Fly! Or Do They?
Transporting livestock
USDA, U.S. State Department and foreign trade
Invasive species and imports
Freight rates
Week 14 - Space: The Final Farming Frontier
NASA and commercial space corporations
Growing food on the International Space Station
Science and the cycles involved with farming on Mars


  • We have Teacher Mentor Institute training materials available on our website for downloading. These are a treasure trove of materials that you can share with your students now. The materials include BEST program overview, engineering design process, and easyC software training. Please contact us if you have ANY questions about these materials or about our competition.
Since we cannot release ANY information about the 2016 game until Kickoff, many of the materials are from 2015.  These 2015 files provide you insight into the type of information you will receive on Kickoff, when you receive the password for 2016 materials. 

The green box shows the list of presentations describing the BEST Program (including schedules, safety, rules, awards and judging, kits, electronics), software and firmware, easyC software, and engineering design process. Included are both Rocky Mountain BEST and Front Range BEST materials; please use the Rocky Mountain BEST materials.

The TMI Supporting Files in the gold table below include dozens of files that support the presentations above. The materials include both Rocky Mountain BEST and Front Range BEST files, please use the materials with the RM BEST name. 
 2016 TMI Supporting Files
Trifolds/Logos/Website Info (02A)
 & Release Information/Demographics (03A)
Safety (04A)
Game Rules (05A)
Score Sheets (06A)
Kits (11A)
Breakout Sessions (EasyC)

2016 BET THE FARM Logo KickoffLooking Ahead to Kickoff
Denver South High School on 3 September  from Noon - 4:30 PM
We are finalizing Kickoff materials for your teams:
  • Robotics Returnable and Consumable kits for each school to prepare a robot,
  • 4-quadrant 2016 Bet the Farm Game Field for the teams to compete,
  • Protobot to demonstrate the game on the game field at Kickoff
  • Kickoff training materials to help you and your students be successful. 
Kickoff registration at Denver South High School starts at noon and Kickoff event from 1 pm - 4:30 PM. We will be sending you directions by 25 August on the detailed schedule and training sessions we plan to present.
2015 Kickoff
Remember 3 September is Labor Day Weekend so start preparing now to bring lots of team members to Kickoff.
  1. You must send an adult (registered teacher or another name coordinated with us) to Kickoff to pick up your Consumable and Returnable Kits and software licenses.
  2. We will make available at Kickoff the password to access all the 2016 Bet the Farm files. DO NOT post any of these materials on social media. Remember that a location that is password protected is best until later in September when all schools have started the 6 week process.
  3. Encourage your students to attend Kickoff. Here is our current list of planned concurrent training breakout sessions in addition to the Bet the Farm Reveal. This list may change as we finalize plans: 1. Project Engineering Notebooks; 2. Robot Design & Construction Tips; 3. Programming easyC; 4. Kits and Rules; 5.Control Systems; 6.Optional BEST Award; 7.Teacher & Mentor Tips; 8.Programming Simulink.
  4. Bring the following 2 forms available now for downloading:  Returnable Kit Agreement and RM BEST Consent and Release form for all teachers, mentors and students. Reference RM BEST Consent and Release Policy 
  5. We plan to have available a password-protected video of the game field reveal and protobot available to use for those not able to attend on 3 September.
  6. The Kickoff charts will be provided to each team on a thumb drive at Kickoff.

SchoolsColorado BEST Robotics Schools
Wow, 62 Colorado Schools on Lists to Compete in 2016
Please make sure your school is on the Rocky Mountain BEST sign up list.  Rocky Mountain and Front Range BEST now are using waiting lists for any new schools signed up. Some schools may decide not to compete this year, so there may still be room for another school to participate.
Rocky Mountain BEST schools with red text have not registered .Don't forget to REGISTER at this link !

RM BEST logo
ROCKY MOUNTAIN BEST SIGNED UP SCHOOLS as of 13 August 2016 School District/City
Abraham Lincoln High School * Denver
Aurora Frontier P-8 * Aurora
Aurora West College Prep Academy * Aurora
Bishop Machebeuf High School Denver
Broomfield High School Boulder Valley
Columbine Middle School * Montrose
Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design * Denver
DSST Byers Middle and High School Denver
DSST Cole High School Denver
DSST Green Valley Ranch High School Denver
DSST Stapleton High School Denver
East Middle School * Aurora
Gateway High School Aurora
High Tech Early College Denver
Hill Middle School * Denver
Innovation Center of the St. Vrain Valley School District St. Vrain Valley
Manning Middle School Jeffco
Monarch High School * Boulder Valley
Mrachek Middle School Aurora
New Vista High School Boulder Valley
Ralston Valley High School Jeffco
Skinner Middle School Denver
Skyline High School St. Vrain Valley
St. Mary's Academy (Middle School) * Englewood
Thomas Jefferson High School Denver
University Schools * Greeley
Vista Peak Exploratory * Aurora
Wheat Ridge High School Jeffco
William Smith High School *   (ALT) Aurora
ALT - the 29th School will be given robotics kits and software licenses to prepare a robot and project engineering notebook. The ALT School may participate at Game Day competition ONLY IF one of the 28 teams drops out.

Academy for Advanced and Creative Learning +
Chaparral High School
Conifer High School*
Cripple Creek - Victor Secondary School +
Dakota Ridge High School
D'Evelyn Jr/Sr High School
Englewood High School
Highlands Ranch High School
Lake County High School
Lakewood High School
Legend High School
Littleton High School*
Mountain Vista High School
Skyview Middle School+
STEM School & Academy
Warren Tech
West Jefferson  Middle School*
Woodland Park High School+
Woodland Park Middle School+
Valor Christian High School (wait list)
Vanguard School *+ (wait list)

+ Front Range BEST El Paso and Teller County teams
SoCo BEST @TrinidadState SIGNED UP SCHOOLS as of 27 July 2016
Antonito High School
Branson School
Hoehne Jr/Sr High School
La Junta High School
Manzananola Jr-Sr High School
Monte Vista High School
Ortega Middle School
Primero High School
Raton High School
Sanford High School
Swink Jr/Sr High School
Trinidad School District
Golden Plains Logo Option

Julesburg High School *
Otis High School
Peetz High School and Middle School *
Caliche High School*

TMIRemembering the Fun!
July Denver Teacher / Mentor Institute Highlights
We were thrilled to host 18 Teachers/Mentors at our 21-22 Denver Teacher / Mentor Institute. Thanks to everyone that participated.
The photos below capture the Friday teacher and mentor teams and their 3 mini-robots that were designed, fabricated and tested by those attending. The 2-day training ended with a 20 minute competition between the 3 robots. All participants got a sense of their students' 6 week competition during their 5 hours of effort. 

2016 TMI Teacher Group

2016 TMI Cup and Chaos
Pink Solo Cup & Controlled Chaos Team Mini-Robots
2016 TMI Robot Trebuchet
Trebuchet Team Mini-Robot

Rocky Mountain BEST would not be successful without you!  Please contact us if you have any questions.


We are looking forward to seeing you and your students at our September and October events.


Jose Lopez

Linda King

Rocky Mountain BEST


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