BEST Makes It Happen In Alabama
    Manufacturing Alabama's Future Workforce
    Mark your calendar today!

Attend a BEST Competition this coming season!

A Robotics Competition Embracing  Farming and Agriculture

Welcome two new Alabama Hubs for 2016
Bevill BEST
River BEST 
    BCA and ATN recognize the  BEST of the BEST
During the 2016 Manufacturer of the Year Awards Luncheon, The Business Council of Alabama (BCA) and the Alabama Technology Network (ATN)  recognized the Decatur-Austin Robotics Alliance (DARC) BEST Robotics Team for their outstanding performance at the South’s BEST Regional Championship hosted by Auburn University. DARC Robotics walked away from the competition with a 1st place in Engineering Notebook, 2nd place in Robotics, and 3rd place in the BEST Award.  

According to teacher and team sponsor, Susan Haddock, “BEST Robotics is project-based learning at its finest.  The program embraces the diversity of our school population and is a six-week incubator that develops real world engineering experience, project management, teamwork, marketing, organizational and problem solving skills.  It has changed the culture of our schools. “

Congratulations DARC Robotics!  

BEST Robotics Honored by the President
Davidson High School visits the White House
The highest ranking BEST team in Alabama, Davidson High School, was honored in April by President Obama during the White House Presidential Science Fair for their outstanding achievements.

During their time in Washington D.C., the team also visited the Capitol where they were greeted and applauded by Representative Bradley Byrne, Senator Jeff Sessions, and Senator Richard Shelby. 

Davidson High School was the fourth BEST team to be recognized by President Obama since 2012.  Prior BEST teams chosen by Friends of BEST in Alabama to participate in the Presidential Science Fair have been St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School, Monroeville Middle School, and Wetumpka High School. 
Photo above: Davidson's students displaying their exhibit in the Grand Foyer of the White House 
Left to right:  Nolan Lenard, Rupa Palanki, and Jacob Bosarge
  Congratulations Davidson High School!
Meet South's BEST
Mary Lou Ewald

Ask anyone about BEST Robotics in Alabama and one name will surely come into the conversation. Mary Lou Ewald, Hub Director of War Eagle and South’s BEST, is definitely the best at what she does in the state for BEST Robotics.

Mary Lou, who also serves as the Director of Science and Math Outreach at Auburn University, hosted the first War Eagle BEST, then known as Alabama BEST, in 2001. Fall, 2016 will see Mary Lou hosting her sixteenth BEST competition, with each one seeming to outdo the previous one!

Mary Lou not only works with BEST Robotics at the state level. She also was on the national BEST Board of Directors from 2004 – 2010. In this position, she was able to work  with hub directors in other states to see that this program continued to foster student interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). She has been recognized at the national level for her strength in STEM education by being appointed Chair of the BEST Awards and Judging Committee from 2002 – 2013, Co-Chair of the New Hub Development Committee 2002- 2005, Conference Chair of the two BEST National Conferences in 2009 and 2011, named the National BEST Volunteer of the Year in 2010, and was selected to present at the VEX/BEST National Championship event.

Recently, Mary Lou talked about the changes that have taken place in the state since BEST began in 2001 as a joint venture of the Auburn University College of Engineering and the College of Science and Mathematics.  According to Mary Lou, “We had instant interest in the program with 22 teams competing.  From this first competition, interest began to spread statewide. South’s BEST, the regional competition, began just three years later with six feeder hubs. Since that time, we’ve had approximately 700 schools that have won at their local hub and moved on to compete at the regional level in Auburn.”  Mary Lou also added, “The involvement in BEST has been a win-win for Auburn University. The competition in December of each year brings thousands of students, teachers, sponsors, mentors, principals, and parents to Auburn. This provides an excellent opportunity for the University to showcase its various schools of study as well as its beautiful campus. All BEST visitors love the campus and always find time to tour Auburn’s fantastic downtown and, of course, the well known oaks on Toomer’s Corner.”

Mary Lou Ewald is proud of the success of the BEST program in the state. “Thanks to this program and what has taken place throughout the state and at Auburn University, the BEST program is seen by industry as an excellent workforce development program for Alabama. This program gives students in grades 6 – 12 the opportunity to participate in the engineering design process so that they can become proficient in various technical skills that prepare them for Alabama’s current and future high tech positions.”

   BEST Camps - Summer Fun and Learning
  • MathWorks Simulink
  • Gears, Grippers, and More
  • BEST Teacher Workshops
  • SolidWorks CAD Design
  • Consumable Kit Know-How
  • Robots Galore 
  • Soldering and Wire Connections
  • Entrepreneurial Skills
  • Technical Writing Made Fun
  • BEST Teacher Training
  • and more...

Contact your local BEST hub to see what's happening in your community this summer!

A Note from Friends of BEST in Alabama

Recently someone asked me to summarize BEST and I immediately replied "BEST Makes It Happen."  Writing code, 3-D printing, public speaking, teamwork, and critical thinking are just a few of the basics students learn.  BEST is not an awareness program or a one-day workshop; BEST students master the skill sets required by Alabama's employers.

BEST Makes It Happen for ALL stakeholders in Alabama.

Please take a moment to continue reading two of our BEST Makes It Happen stories below.

Seeing is definitely believing.  I challenge each of you to attend a BEST competition this fall.  Together, we can applaud the BEST students, teachers and mentors who Make BEST Happen in Alabama!

BEST regards,
Friends of BEST in Alabama
    iHeart Media BEST Makes It Happen Campaign
Improving education is vital.  Creating a productive workforce is critical.  I’m Dr. Mark Heinrich, Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System.  Teaching the skills required for Alabama’s highly-skilled workforce is often a challenge, but our partnership with BEST Robotics helps us achieve our goals. Thousands of BEST students participate in activities on our campuses each year, learning advanced skills preparing them for the future.
Community colleges, robots, and success in life – BEST Makes It Happen.    

       BEST Makes It Happen in Alabama!
The aerospace industry in Mobile is taking off, soaring to new heights, and BEST Robotics students are key to its future. I’m Dave Trent, Site Director of Airbus Engineering in Mobile.  BEST is more than building a robot. BEST teaches project management, marketing, communications, teamwork and more – it mirrors the real world of designing and building the world’s best aircraft. 
Teaching the skills Airbus needs for the future - BEST Makes it Happen.

    Thank You iHeart Media!
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