Robotics Contest Getting a Reboot for Denton Students

DC BEST's main goal is to motivate Denton County middle and high school students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math fields.

After a five-year hiatus, DC BEST is on its way back.

The name is an acronym for Denton County’s Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology Robotics competition, a six-week extracurricular robotics contest in the fall for Denton County middle and high school students.

The push to rekindle the contest is being led by the Department of Engineering Technology at the University of North Texas, led by Leticia Anaya and Huseyin Bostanci, director and assistant director of DC BEST.

“DC BEST Robotics is especially interested in recruiting schools from rural areas and economically disadvantaged schools.”

Leticia Anaya

“The primary goal of DC BEST Robotics is to motivate Denton County middle and high school students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math fields,” Anaya said in a release. “DC BEST Robotics is especially interested in recruiting schools from rural areas and economically disadvantaged schools.”

She said the competition also is aimed at developing the leadership, communication, and community service skills of UNT students by having them serve in key positions during the competition.

According to the DC BEST website, the competition operated for 15 years with Boeing as the primary sponsor. From 2004 to 2013, the contest operated under the umbrella of the UNT College of Engineering and the UNT Department of Engineering Technology.

In 2013, the competition was halted because of a lack of industry sponsors and a weak local economy, according to the website.

DC BEST ENCOURAGES STEM EDUCATION

Enrique Barbieri, chair of UNT Electrical Engineering program, said the university is supporting the competition again “not only because of its relevance to the current engineering technology programs we offer, but more importantly because DC BEST impacts our ability to increase STEM awareness and to attract young minds to pursue a STEM career.”

DC BEST Robotics uses industry support to provide everything needed at no charge to schools, including supplies, a game field, facilities, and insurance.

Organizers said that 18 to 20 schools are expected to participate. 

CONTEST DETAILS

DC BEST

What: The competition consists of four events — kickoff, practice day, pre-game, and game day. Orientation and training will be provided, as well as distribution of supplies to the participating schools. 

When: Kickoff is 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 8; Practice Day will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13; Pre-game Day for robot check-in, presentations, and game installation is 3 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19; and Game Day competition is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. 

Where: Kickoff is at Discovery Park in Denton while Practice Day, Pre-game day, and the Game Day competition will all be held at the UNT Coliseum.

More Info: Email DC Best Director Leticia Anaya at [email protected]

Competitors in 2008, when the event was known as the Texas BEST at the Super Pit on the UNT campus. [Photo Courtesy University of North Texas]

DC Best

A competitor in the competition from when it was called the Texas BEST competition at the Super Pit on the UNT campus. [Photo Courtesy the University of North Texas]

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