New Mexico schools take honors at regional robotics championship

Three New Mexico schools placed in the Texas BEST (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology) Regional Robotics Championship. The regional competition, held Nov. 18-20 at the University of Texas at Dallas, brought together champion teams from hubs in Texas and New Mexico. The NMSU College of Engineering has been host to the NM BEST Robotics hub for New Mexico and El Paso schools for 10 years.

Rio Rancho's Robo Runner

Rio Rancho Homeschool’s Robo Runner in competition at NMSU

“We are extremely pleased that New Mexico teams performed so well in the regional competition and we congratulate the students and their mentors,” said NMSU College of Engineering Assistant Dean Patricia A. Sullivan. “NM BEST is a wonderful way to inspire students in our state to explore engineering and other technical fields. We know that many of them go on to pursue higher education in these fields as a result.”

The Rio Rancho Robo Runners, from Rio Rancho Homeschool took several honors at the competition:

They received the 3rd Place BEST award given to teams that perform the best overall in categories that include robot, engineering manual, booth, spirit and sportsmanship as well as the marketing presentation.

They Robo Runners also took 8th place for their Robot, 2nd place for the Most Robust Machine, and the UT-Dallas Top Gun Award for the team that had the most points in one round.

“Our goal this year was to be greater than average, and this group of 33 students proved that they are just that,” said team coach Shelly Gruenig. “With 56 teams advancing to BEST regionals, we brought home more recognition than ever before.”

Several other New Mexico teams brought home awards:

Hatch Valley High School took 12th Place Robot and 1st Place Rockwell CollinsT-Shirt. Los Lunas School of Dreams High School took 1st place Website.

BEST Robotics organizes annual robotics competitions that introduce middle- and high-school students to engineering, problem-solving and teamwork – providing a taste of what it’s like to work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.

BEST is organized by local hubs that recruit schools and support robotics teams by providing parts kits and organizing tournaments. There’s no cost to schools for registration. Successful teams at the hub tournaments then participate in regional competitions.

The NM BEST competition was held Oct. 21 at NMSU. Taking top honors at that competition and invited to compete at the Texas Regional Robotics Championship were:

BEST Overall
1st Rio Rancho Homeschool, Rio Rancho
2nd Hatch Valley High School, Hatch
3rd School of Dreams Academy High School, Los Lunas
4th Cottonwood Valley Charter School, Socorro (did not attend regional competition)

Also attending the regional competition was Portales High School, which took 2nd in the BEST Competition.

For more information about NM BEST Robotics, visit NM BEST.

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