On Oct. 14, the floor of the Stubblefield Center will become a roadway for robots designed and constructed by students from 16 area schools when the annual River Valley BEST robotics competition is held on the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith campus.
The theme for this year’s competition, “Flameout,” tasks competitors with creating a robot that will save a victim from a burning building while trying to put out all the flames and securely dispose of hazardous waste material. The competition will take place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Teams received materials for the competition during a kickoff on Sept. 2 and participated in workshops on judging criteria, proper use of materials and robot programming. Competitors have until the day of the competition to create a working robot. The team with the most efficient robot will win the overall robot game award.
Jason Merritt, electronics technology instructor at UAFS and director of River Valley BEST, said this year’s event would be an exciting competition.
“I believe this is going to be a very competitive year among the teams. The game is exciting which will encourage practice, and it is very straight forward at the same time,” Merritt said. “We will also be able to send a couple of extra teams to regionals this year, since the Colorado regional competition was approved.”
Participating teams include Fayetteville High School, a team of Fort Smith junior high schoolers, Fulbright Junior High School, Lamar High School, Lincoln Consolidated Schools, Metro Homeschool, Northside High School, Pea Ridge Middle School, Porum High School, Prairie Grove Middle School, Ramay Junior High School, River Valley Homeschool, Southside High School, Washington Junior High School, the Western Arkansas Technical Center at UAFS and Woodland Junior High School.
The Stubblefield Center is located at 5210 Grand Ave. in Fort Smith. For more information about the competition, contact Merritt at 479-788-7877 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
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