Teams to put robots to test at DC BEST contest

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Fourteen North Texas teams will pit their robots against each other in Saturday’s 15th annual DC BEST contest at the University of North Texas Coliseum.

Three teams from DC BEST — Denton County Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology — will advance to the regional Texas BEST championship on Nov. 9-10 at the University of Texas at Dallas.

This year’s challenge is called “Warp XX” and is based on the idea of the space elevator, said Bill Stamm, DC BEST director. Each team designs a robot to climb a simulated carbon nanotube and move various items from a platform to a midpoint station at the top of a steel C-channel.

“It’s a difficult challenge,” Stamm said. “This is the first year in many years [robots] haven’t been running around on the ground.

“They’re not horizontal. They’re going vertical.”

Points are awarded based on the objects moved by the team’s robot. The seven various objects are worth between one and 12 points each, Stamm said.

The teams with the highest scores will advance.

The competition begins at 8:30 a.m. with a seeding competition in which each team will participate in eight matches. Seven teams will advance to the semifinals. Four teams will compete in a wild-card contest, with one nabbing the final semifinalist slot.

The semifinals will consist of a total six matches. Four teams from the semifinals will advance to finals competition and compete in three matches for the championship.

The top finisher, earning the most points, and the top two finishers for the BEST Award will advance to Texas BEST competition next month. Top BEST Award finishers are judged on their presentations, notebooks, displays, spirit, sportsmanship and their robot.

Each team received identical game kits and instructions six weeks ago to start developing their robots. Additionally, teams are responsible for creating a display booth and giving an oral presentation about their robot and keeping a notebook detailing their robot design, sketches, descriptions and creation concepts.

The teams, which generally have 10 to 12 students, Stamm said, had one practice session prior to the competition to test their robots on the actual game field for more than an hour.

DC BEST, founded in 1997, is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization and a hub of nonprofit BEST Robotics Inc. The organization’s competitions for middle school and high school students aim to foster interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“The biggest thing is they have fun, they look at the engineering challenge and they come away with a better idea of what’s going on in the scientific world,” Stamm said.

Admission to the DC BEST competition is free. For more information, visit http://dcbest.unt.edu .

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is btabor@dentonrc.com .

ROBOTICS TEAMS

Saturday’s DC BEST competition includes teams from:

•  Krum High School

•  Slidell High School

•  Marcus High School (Flower Mound)

•  TEACH (Denton)

•  Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at the University of North Texas

•  Pilot Point High School

•  Vernon High School

•  Genesis of Robotics (Lewisville)

•  Fort Worth Christian School

•  North Hills Preparatory (Irving)

•  Flower Mound High School

•  HEAT (Home Educators Around Texoma, Wichita Falls)

•  Sacred Heart Catholic School (Muenster)

•  Little Elm High School

 

 


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