BEST Robotics Winners Announced

Ambassadors for Christ

Ambassadors for Christ

Metro Home School

Metro Home School

Nineteen schools participated in the 2016 River Valley BEST competition Oct. 29 on the University of Arkansas- Fort Smith campus, but two schools dominated the competition.


Ambassadors for Christ of Bentonville received first place in the overall robotics competition, in addition to winning the Founders Award, the Most Robust Award and the IGUS Top Gun Award. Additionally, they placed second in the Most Elegant Award.


Jason Merritt, electronics technology instructor at UAFS, called the team’s performance “solid.”


“Ambassadors for Christ outpaced the point scoring consistently for a solid win at the end of the day,” Merritt said. “Their robot design allowed them to do more at once, and their drivers were clearly prepared to take advantage of their design.”


Metro Homeschool of Blue Springs, Mo., received the BEST Award, Most Elegant Award, BEST Project Notebook Award, BEST Exhibit Award and the Spirit and Sportsmanship Award. The team placed second in the overall robotics competition and received second place awards in the Most Robust and T-shirt categories.


“Metro Home School won the day with the overall BEST Award by scoring big, performing well across all categories and exhibiting tremendous team spirit and sportsmanship,” Merritt said.


Four local schools – Believers Home School, Chaffin Junior High School, Northside High School and Southside High School – also received awards. Believers Home School received the first place T-shirt Award. Chaffin Junior High received the first place Web Design Award and the second place BEST Award, as well as the second place BEST Spirit and Sportsmanship Award. Northside High School received the second place BEST Project Notebook Award and Southside High School received the first place Most Photogenic Award.


Benton County Home School received third place in the overall robotics competition and the second place Most Photogenic Award. Ramay Junior High of Fayetteville received the third place BEST Award and the second place BEST Exhibit Award.


Fulbright Junior High School of Bentonville earned fourth place in the overall robotic competition. Woodland Junior High School of Fayetteville, received the second place Web Page Design Award.


“The teams did an excellent job this year with their robot designs,” Merritt said. “It was clear that every team had a great time. Nine out of the 19 teams received either first or second place in a category. There were several other teams that were also clearly competitive but came up just short.”


Metro Home School, Ambassadors for Christ, Chaffin Junior High and Ramay Junior High School will advance to Frontier Trails BEST, the regional robotics competition featuring 37 robotics teams competing from nine different hubs.


The Frontier Trails BEST Regional Championship will take place Dec. 3 at the Fort Smith Convention Center. For more information, contact Merritt at 479-788-7877 or


About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith


The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Through a small campus, dedicated professors, and the university’s unique bond with its community, students at UAFS are able to do more in the areas they are passionate about, both on- and off-campus, in a way that prepares them for post-graduate success. To find out how you can do more at UAFS, visit


Amy Lloyd, University Relations Coordinator
Date Posted: 
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
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