The East AlabamaWorks Regional Workforce Council has been announced as the new home for the BEST Robotics Regional Hub in East Alabama. The not-for-profit workforce development agency will oversee all aspects of the East Alabama BEST competition which is scheduled for November 2, 2019 at Jacksonville State University.

East Alabama BEST is a workforce development initiative designed to foster interest in science, technology, engineering, and math for both middle and high school students – utilizing a competition centered on robotics. Schools throughout the region put together special robotics teams for the competition. Each team forms their own “company” to design, build, test, and market their robot following specific guidelines set forth in the annual “game” concept designed on the national level. This year’s game theme is “Off the Grid”.

The BEST competition is free for the schools and each team is given an identical collection of materials from which to design and build their robot. The East Alabama BEST competition is an intensive, six-week program. Students not only design and build a robot, they also design a marketing plan for their robot – complete with a “trade show” booth – give marketing presentations, and document their entire process in an engineering notebook.

The kickoff for the 2019 competition will be held on Saturday, September 21 at Beck Conference Center at Gadsden State Community College in Gadsden, Alabama. On Kickoff Day, teams will receive their construction kits, and the official game task and game field will be unveiled for the first time.

An official Practice Day will be held on Sunday, October 27 at the Quintard Mall in Oxford, Alabama. Practice Day allows the teams to set up in a Game Day style atmosphere and test their robots on the official game field.

The team marketing presentations will be judged on Marketing Day on Friday, November 1 at Central Alabama Community College in Talladega, Alabama.

Game Day for East Alabama BEST will be on Saturday, November 2 and will be held at Pete Mathews Coliseum at Jacksonville State University.

To sign up your school, or to volunteer with this program, please contact Abby Minter Howle, Workforce Program Coordinator, at ahowle@eastalabamaworks.com.