Episcopal Day School (EDS) is a college preparatory school located in Gadsden. Students in the 5th – 12th grades compete in a robotics competition known as BEST (Boosting, Engineering, Science and Technology). BEST is a competition for middle and high school robotics teams that educates students in engineering, science and technology.
By participating in this project-based STEM program, students learn to solve problems by using the Engineering Design Process which develops technological literacy skills. Schools form companies to fulfill contracts with BEST Robotics.
Intergalactic Robotics, Inc. (IGR) is Episcopal’s company which designs, builds, and markets our robot for each year’s game.
Every year BEST presents the companies with a themed problem that must be solved by designing, building, and marketing a robot. In 2007, the first year IGR competed, they built the robot Triska for “2021: A Robot Odyssey.” In 2008, they built Wilbur the Wright robot for “Just Plane Crazy”. In 2009, the robot Korny competed in “High Octane”. The robot for 2010 was Sigmund for “Total Recall.” In 2011, the robot I.G.O.R.5 competed in “Bugs”. In 2012, they built Kovsky for “Space Elevators”. In 2013 they built Andy for “Gatekeeper”.
This year, the assigned theme is “Bladerunner”, and IGR has been approached by BEST Robotics Inc. to design a robot that can transport and assemble pieces of a wind turbine. Episcopal’s robot’s name is Freston, whose body and name originated from the book Don Quixote. Episcopal Day School will compete with their robot against other schools on November 1st in Talladega. The winner will move on to South’s BEST in Auburn on December 6 and 7.
The school’s students have been quite successful in past competitions. They have won numerous awards in seven years, including: Best tee-shirt in 2007 and 2008, Best Exhibit and Interview in 2008, 2010 and 2011, Best Engineering Notebook in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, Best Spirit and Sportsmanship in 2008 and Best Web Page in 2009 among many others.
In 2012, IGR won 1st place in the BEST award, Teamwork, Web Page, Exhibit and Interview, and Spirit and Sportsmanship.
In 2013, IGR won Best Engineering Notebook and Best Spirit and Sportsmanship.
Episcopal has worked hard this year preparing their robot. They are serious and diligent, but at the end of the day, they still have fun and help the other teams learn about robotics. It’s not just a robotics competition, but a learning experience for the students. BEST Robotics creates a strong scientific foundation in order for students to have a bright future.