The West Texas BEST competition was held at Frenship High School.

Robotics Program Creates STEM Awareness for High School Students

Texas Tech students designed structure of annual BEST competition and served as mentors.

Texas Tech University’s West Texas Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) Program recently finished their season, which included their first time designing the structure of the annual national robotics competition, and Texas Tech student Ismael Castillo-Avila said he had a blast.

TBEST is a robotics program that middle and high school students participate in across the nation, said Levi Johnson, senior project administrator for the STEM Center for Outreach, Research and Education (STEM-CORE). Texas Tech is host to the West Texas BEST program.

“West Texas BEST,” said Richard Gale, West Texas BEST hub director, “is the middle pipeline I put in place here to try to jump interest in STEM disciplines as early as elementary school and then provide continuity through the robotics competitions and programs that go all the way through graduate school at Texas Tech.”

The Texas Tech designed competition ends Dec. 7 after the country’s other regional sections compete. This year no national championship occurs, Gale said, because it has not been three years yet. West Texas BEST competed in their regional competition Nov. 14-15.