GROVE CITY – Grove City College BEST Robotics kicks off today as scores of students from area middle and high schools assemble on campus to begin work on their animatronic entries for this year’s contest.

The competition, now in its tenth year at the College, is part of BEST Robotics, Inc., a nationwide nonprofit, volunteer organization whose mission is to engage, excite and inspire young people to pursue careers in engineering, science and technology through competition. The program, which is sponsored by Elliott Group, is free and open to all students of public, private and home schools. Students from more than a dozen area schools are expected to take part in the competition.

BEST isn’t your typical science fair. Held in Grove City College’s Arena, BEST plays out like a sporting event, with hundreds of fans packing the bleachers to cheer on their teams. Some schools even send mascots and pep bands. Along with the game day action, BEST teams make marketing presentations detailing their robot’s design, construction and mission. Teams are judged both on the performance of their robots and these presentations.

Game Day is set for Oct. 12. Marketing presentations will be made on Oct. 11 during a trade show-like event at the College. The BEST buildup also includes a demonstration on Sept. 28 at Ross Park Mall. Winners of the Grove City College event will go on to regional competition.

On Saturday, students will learn about the competition and be supplied with materials to build their robots. This year’s theme is “Off the Grid.” Materials are provided by sponsors, including the Elliott Group, a Jeannette, Pa.,-based company that designs, manufacturers and services turbomachinery for a global clientele.

Grove City College BEST organizers continue to seek sponsors for the ongoing effort. Anyone interested in sponsoring BEST should contact the Office of Development at Grove City College at 724-458-2991.

For more information about Grove City College BEST Robotics, visit www.gcc.edu/best.

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