Best Robotics Day coming to UA Little Rock Nov. 4

Neva Dagtas (middle) of Little Rock celebrates as her robot, "Walle Jr.," wins the robotics camp competition for fifth and sixth graders. Photo by Lonnie Timmons III/UA Little Rock Communications.

Hundreds of students — and their robots — from throughout Arkansas will put on a show this weekend at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. 

The UA Little Rock Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology will host this year’s BEST Robotics Game Day, which is expected to involve 300 student competitors from 20 Arkansas middle school and high school teams and one from Alabama. Hundreds more typically attend, with squads often bringing their own mascots, cheerleaders, and pep bands.

The event is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, in the Jack Stephens Center on the UA Little Rock campus. An opening ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. with robotics matches starting at 9:15 a.m. The semifinal round commences at 1 p.m., followed by the finals at 2:15 p.m. and the awards presentation at 3:15 p.m.

BEST, which stands for Boosting Engineering Science and Technology, is a national six-week competition designed to get middle and high school students interested in engineering careers.

UA Little Rock is the host for the Little Rock hub competitions, and the university and other sponsors provide the required robotic design kits to teams free of charge. Mentors from UA Little Rock also help teams during the process, and the university will furnish judges for the competition.

Judges give scores in four categories: robot performance; engineering notebook; spirit and sportsmanship; and exhibit and team interview. The top seven finishers will advance to the regional competition held Dec. 1-2 in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Participating schools include Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts; Athens Bible School; Central High School; Columbia Christian High School; Central/Henderson Middle School; Conway High School; eStem High School; Forest Heights STEM Academy; Gosnell High School; Hillcrest New Tech High School; Hope High School; Kirby High School; Lake Hamilton Junior High School; LISA Academy West; Mount St. Mary’s Academy; Nashville High School; Parkview High School; Poyen High School; Sylvan Hills Middle School; Stuttgart High School; and Wynne High School.

Share this Post: