A fierce competition took place at the River Valley BEST robotics competition this weekend on the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith campus, but it was Metro Homeschool who continued their run of dominance by placing first in the robot competition and BEST Award categories.
Metro Homeschool edged out River Valley Homeschool by just 39 points to win the robot competition. Additionally, Metro Homeschool also won the Web Page Award, BEST Project Notebook Award, IGUS Top Gun Award and BEST Spirit and Sportsmanship Award. They also placed runner-up in the BEST Exhibit Award.
The BEST Award goes to the team with the highest cumulative score, encompassing scores from the robot competition, spirit and sportsmanship, and the engineering notebook, among other categories.
River Valley Homeschool placed runner-up in the competition, securing second place in the BEST Award category in addition to second place in the robot competition. Fulbright Junior High School in Bentonville placed third in the robot competition, and Porum High School placed fourth. Porum High School also won the Founders Award.
Fort Smith Junior High had a strong showing as well, placing third in the BEST Award category and winning the BEST Exhibit Award. They placed runner-up in the Web Page Award, Most Photogenic Robot Award, and BEST Spirit and Sportsmanship Award.
Jason Merritt, electronics technology instructor at UAFS and director of River Valley BEST, said the 16 teams “competed with excellence.”
“I was very proud of the effort every single school put into this competition. The competition was obviously fierce, but every school also exhibited excellent sportsmanship,” Merritt said. “It was obvious that every single team took this opportunity seriously, learned from this experience, and worked to build positive relationships with their competition. It was a very worthwhile weekend.”
Other winners included Fayetteville High School, who won the Most Robust Robot and Most Elegant Robot Awards and placed runner-up in the T-Shirt Award category; Lamar High School, who won the Most Photogenic Robot Award; and the Western Arkansas Technical Center, who won the T-Shirt Award.
Metro Homeschool, River Valley Homeschool, Fort Smith Junior High, Fulbright Junior High and Porum High School will advance to Frontier Trails BEST, the regional robotics competition held Dec. 1-2 featuring 36 competing teams from six different regional hubs.
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