Keith team shines in BEST meet

Published 10:10pm Saturday, December 8, 2012

After weeks of preparation, area schools traveled to Auburn University to compete for the number one spot in the regional South’s BEST competition.

Keith Middle and High Schools walked away with first place for best team mascot at the robotics competition, which is part of the Boosting Engineering Science and Technology program.

“All the teams did great,” said Candis Birchfield, communications editor for the college of science and mathematics at Auburn University. “It was a really exciting weekend.”

BEST, a national non-profit robotics program for middle and high school students, is headquartered at Auburn where the competition is held each year.

Johnny Moss, director for the Selma hub in the BEST Robotics program, said he was impressed with everyone who participated considering for some it was their first year in the program.

“It was a really good experience for all of them and they learned a lot,” Moss said. “I heard very positive things from the judges, especially about Keith’s marketing presentation, they thought it was awesome.”

South’s BEST included teams from Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. Cornerstone Christian Preparatory Academy, located in South Park, Pa. won first place in the BEST award category, the highest award given at the competition.

Schools from the Selma Hub that participated in the competition included Dallas County High School, Martin Middle School and Keith Middle and High Schools.

“The good thing is we had three teams represented in our hub and now they know what’s expected on the next level,” Moss said. “And now that it’s all over we can start recruiting other schools and get them involved in the program.”

For next year, Moss said he would like to see more area industries get involved and mentor students in the program.

“It’s great and really helps the students learn,” Moss said of BEST. “We hope to do summer camps and maybe some camps in the spring to get awareness going and to actually give our teams more practice in the competition.”

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