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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Robotics competition at NMSU aims to encourage students in engineering and science

WHAT: NM BEST Robotics Competition

WHO: More than 600 middle- and high-school students

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 10 opening ceremonies, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. competition, 4 p.m. award presentations

WHERE: NMSU James B. Delamater Activity Center, corner of Stewart St. and S. Locust St.

VISUALS: Student teams compete with robots they created

The College of Engineering at New Mexico State University has encouraged thousands of students to pursue higher education in science, technology, engineering and math through the New Mexico Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology Robotics Competition for 14 years.

“As the technological demands of the 21st century grow at a rapid pace, our schools must feed the pipeline to meet that demand,” said Assistant Dean Patricia A. Sullivan. “The need for engineers, scientists and mathematicians is steadily increasing, yet the number of students going into these fields is not growing at a comparable rate. The College of Engineering has a number of programs, including the NM BEST Robotics Competition, to entice our youth into these rewarding and much needed fields.”

BEST is an annual competition that offers middle- and high-school students an opportunity to work in a situation where they are confronted with the same challenges and breakthroughs encountered by industry engineering teams. The BEST mission is to inspire participating students to pursue STEM careers. This year, more than 600 students representing teams from across New Mexico, Arizona and El Paso will gather to compete with robots that they designed and built. On Oct. 3, teams gathered at the Mesilla Valley Mall to test out their robots on the game field in preparation for Saturday’s competition.

Each year, teams are given a specific task and identical kits of parts to construct a robot that will complete a task. They then have six weeks to design, build and test a robot that will outperform its competitors. Schools will compete with each other on the game field. Schools will also be judged on their engineering notebook, marketing presentation, website, interviews with judges, sportsmanship and spirit. The NMSU College of Engineering has hosted the event since 2001.