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About OKBest

MISSION
The mission of OKBEST is to encourage junior high students and high school students to select careers in science and engineering through the use of hands-on ďathleticĒ style robotics competition.

THE BEST CONCEPT
The BEST program is designed to teach teamwork, problem solving, project management and pride in task completion. This is accomplished through the partnerships of participating schools with corporate sponsors. Youth teams are supported by mentors who serve as role models for the next generation of scientists and engineers.

THE BEST GOALS
The goal of BEST is to demonstrate the excitement of advanced technical careers to young people who are nearing decisions on college plans. Team membership is open to all interested students and participation is without fee to the students or the schools.

Important Calendar Events in the OKBEST Season

Kick off Day OKBEST Season starts in held early to mid September. This event brings together all the teams that have registered to participate in OKBEST for the current year. At this event, teams are introduced to all aspects of the game - the rules, the back ground story, and the OKBEST Official Playing field! This event also allows team students and coaches to network with OKBEST Staff and other teams. This is the start of the community that becomes the OKBEST Nation.

Public Event Day which is held one to two weeks before Competition Day in October, allows the teams have to opportunity to demonstrate their robots to the surrounding community. This is a great time for the teams to test their robotís performance.
This is also a great time for other schools and Potential Sponsors to come see the Game Field and talk to the Hub staff

Game Day. This is the culmination of six weeks worth of blood, sweat, and tears! OKBEST game day brings together all the participating teams to not only demonstrate their robot, but also show off what they've been doing for six weeks. During game day, teams will spend their time running the robot during the seeding, semi finals, and finals robot play. They will also have a chance to "sell" their team design during a marketing presentation.

The next level: Regional Competitions
The top teams from the OKBEST competition are qualified to advance to the BEST Regional in November / December in Dallas Texas at Texas BEST Competition


Funding
OKBEST is funded from a varity of sponsors. Each sponsors helps contribute to an organization that seeks to encourage middle school and high school aged children to consider careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). OKBEST STEM contest is provide AT NO COST to the student teams members. Nobody from a team ever writes us a check for anything (except lost returnable parts)
OKBEST is proud to be working with the Oklahoma Science and Engineering Foundation (OKSEF) to offer 501c3 opportunities to individuals and corporate bodies who wish to support OKBEST STEM Efforts!
If you are interested in discussing financial support of OKBEST, please contact us! bestrobotics405 at gmail dot com or John Robertson @ 405 210 7831.

No donation amount is too small! For example - OKBEST uses lots of gaffers tape (we like yellow, red, blue, and green) to mark our fields, setup on field work flows for teams to get from PIT areas to playing fields and back again. Gaffers tape runs us $100-$200 a year! A single $200 donation would provide for our gaffers tape needs for 1 year.

TIME FRAME
The game is limited to a six-week period starting sometime near the first of September. This time frame is to simulate a product time-to-market constraint.

RESOURCES
At Kickoff each team receives an identical tool box of parts for building their robot. The machine can be built only with parts included in this kit. This is to simulate a product being built in the real world within a budget.

SPECIFICATIONS
Each team receives an identical game task description at Kickoff. The robots must meet size and weight requirements and complete the game task. This simulates a customerís requirements and specifications for a new product.

TEAMS
Each competing school selects its own team members. The design and building of the robot is the primary decision of the students. Industry and academic coaches are available as mentors for the students to encourage and guide them in the process of constructing their robot. The schools provide at least one teacher-coach, administrative support, facility access after school hours, and transportation to the competition site.

HISTORY
In 1998, Dwain Chaffin, Vice President of Texas Instruments, and also Chair of OCís Engineering Advisory Council presented the idea of forming OKBEST to the Engineering Department at Oklahoma Christian University (OC). Lyle Harms continued with the idea, formed a minimal staff and the first OKBEST was born in 1998. Jim Cutbirth (a professor of Mechanical Engineering at OC) chaired the first year. The contest was staffed by volunteers from OC and local industries. A total of 8 teams competed in this inaugural contest.

OKBEST has continued to grow over the years. In 1999 there were too many teams to continue competing in OCís University Center and the move was made to OCís gym. Kickoff was held that year in OCís Conservatory.

In 2001, Kevin Lewelling assumed the chair position and continued through 2002. 2002 saw the competition increase to 32 teams. There were so many teams wanting to enter last year that new hubs were established at Wichita State, Northwestern and the University of Tulsa. The highlight of kickoff in 2002 was special guest speaker, Jack Kilby, 2000 Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics. He gave a brief overview of his distinguished career, took questions, and conducted a book signing.

In 2011, OKBEST Produced and Managed Game operations for BEST Inc with the game "BUGS!". Thru the concentrated efforts of Dr. Bill Ryan, Mr. Matt Lapolla, and Mr. John Robertson the BEST Nation saw first hand could produce and operate a Natonal level Robotics Game. In addition to Game design and support, Oklahoma Christian University played host to the 2011 Best Robotics Inc (BRI) Prototype game day on campus in Edmond, OK. BRI Council Members and Representatives from over 30 different BEST Hubs came to Edmond to discuss the "BUGS!" Game development and operation as well as plan for the future of BEST Robotics. Both Founds of BEST robotics - Mr. Steve Marum and Mr. Ted Mailer where in attendance.

Unfortunately in 2012, OKBEST fell victim to economic down turns and had to cease operations.

Although OKBEST was not running, OKBEST staff personel continue to support the BEST Nation by generating animation for 2013 Warp XX and Game Comittee advising to 2014's BEST Game - "Paydirt"!

In 2017, OKBEST relaunch on the campus of Rose State College. Our 2017-2018 OKBEST Kick off days where held on Rose State College at the lecture hall and the gym. Dr. Wayne Jones and Mr. Michael Garrison went above and beyond to help OKBEST establish itself on Rose State College. 2017 and 2018 Public event days where held on the OC Millwood Falcon's Nest.
2017-2018 OKBEST Game days where held at the OC Millwood Basketball Area. Both facilities where made available to OKBEST thru the extreme generosity of Superendentant of Schools Ms. Cecilia Robinson.

 

 

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