By Janel Shoun on 10/24/2011
Hundreds of high school and middle school students in Tennessee and surrounding states are in for a “creepy crawly” experience on Saturday, Oct. 29, when they gather at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena to pit their custom-made robots against each other.
The Music City BEST Robotics Competition is an annual robot-building engineering competition held at Lipscomb University involving more than 500 students from Nashville, Kentucky, Indiana, and surrounding areas of Tennessee.
This year’s theme is “BUGS!” According to the fictional back story, deep inside the BEST Genetics Lab, genetically engineered flies, cockroaches and termites have broken out of their specialized containment areas and escaped from the lab. Students must design robots to capture these pretend bugs as quickly as possible and transport them safely back to the laboratory’s containment area in order to protect the environment.
This event is free and open to the public.
The robots begin rolling at 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 29. The best times to see the robots in action are 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 3:30 p.m. The entire event lasts until about 5 p.m.
Nashville schools expected to participate are:
David Lipscomb Campus School
John Overton High School
Whites Creek High School
West End IB World School
Nashville Christian School and Homeschool Team
Merrol Hyde Magnet School
Knox Doss Middle School at Drakes Creek
Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School
And schools from Dickson, Smyrna, Murfreesboro, Thompson Station, Clarksville, Lynnville, Calvert City, Ky., and Indiana.
The BEST program (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) is a 18-year-old, nationwide, hands-on engineering program challenging students to build a robot using specific materials such as plywood, PVC pipe and duct tape. The goal is to teach problem-solving, teamwork and leadership skills through math and science -- two highly valued skills in the education arena today.
Music City BEST, sponsored by Nissan and Lipscomb’s Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering, is in its sixth year and expects 17 registered teams from three states and nine Tennessee counties to participate.
The top threeteams in the Music City competition will proceed to the South’s BEST competition in Auburn, Ala., in December, where around 50 teams duke it out for top honors in the region. Regional winners move on to the world competition. Last year, three teams representing Music City BEST made it to the world competition.