Engineering team set to compete against the BEST
RCS Engineering took home the big trophy at the Northwest Alabama BEST Hub competition on Oct. 22 but they aren’t taking the win for granted. Students involved in RCS Engineering are now looking toward the South’s BEST Championship competition held in Auburn and are hoping to bring home the big trophy there as well.
RCS Engineering won first place at the regional competition for the BEST Award, named after the competition’s sponsor, BEST Robotics, Inc., which is a non-profit and volunteer-based organization whose purpose is to get middle and high school students interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The award means RCS Engineering received the highest cumulative score out of 10 teams in the Northwest Alabama hub for their engineering notebook, their marketing presentation, their product booth, their robot and the spirit and sportsmanship displayed by the students and their fans.
Russellville Middle School teacher Lee Brownell serves as the advisor for RCS Engineering and he said he’s proud of the students’ accomplishments thus far.
“These kids have really worked hard to prepare for this competition and I’m looking forward to the championship competition in December,” he said. “We’ll be competing against teams from across the county.”
Anna Smith, a member of RCS Engineering, said they plan to take the things they learned from the regional competition and use them to make their performance at the championship competition even better.
“We got feedback on our score sheets about some things we could improve on and we’re trying to make some improvements to our robot,” she said. “This last competition was exciting and fun and gave us some good experience.”
While the group is looking forward to the next stage of the competition, Brownell said it wouldn’t come cheap, especially at a time when funding is scarce in the school system.
He said their organization needs to raise close to $5,000 to make the trip to Auburn to compete and he’s hoping the community can help out through participating in their barbecue dinner fundraiser or by just giving a donation.
“The community has already been so supportive of us and we appreciate it very much,” he said. “We recently received a donation from the Franklin County Y.E.S. Foundation and we hope to keep raising funds so we can make this trip possible.”
The Russellville City Council donated $1,500 to the team Monday night.
Anyone interested in purchasing a ticket for the Boston butt barbecue dinner can do so through any RCS Engineering student or through Brownell. Pick-up for the dinners will be Nov. 18 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church parking lot in downtown Russellville.
Anyone who would like to make a donation to RCS Engineering can contact Brownell at email@example.com.
Community members can also follow the progress of RCS Engineering through Twitter, Facebook and on their website, www.rcsrobotics.org.