National robotics competition slated for Oct. 21-22 at Penn State DuBois

BEST Kickoff event.

Students had the chance to examine the BEST course during a kickoff event on campus in September.

Credit: Steve Harmic

DUBOIS, Pa. — A nationwide robotics competition for middle and high school students will take place at Penn State DuBois, and all interested spectators from the public are invited to attend. The BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) robotics competition will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, and from 8:30 a.m. to  3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, in the campus gymnasium, with Penn State DuBois serving as a local hub for the competition for the third year in a row.

Teams participating in this year's BEST at Penn State DuBois are DuBois Area High School, Redbank Valley, Cranberry Area High School, Clearfield Area High School, Clearfield County Career and Technology Center, Brockway Area Junior/Senior High, and St. Marys Area High School.

BEST provides all necessary parts and equipment for teams to build a robot that they can use to run a course and perform specified tasks. The robot must be built within a six-week timeframe. On the days of the contest, all teams will run the course, competing for the best times and course completion. Through participation in this project-based program, students learn to analyze and solve problems utilizing the engineering design process, which helps them develop technological literacy skills. The goal is to better prepare these students for further education and careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields

The learning opportunities with BEST don't stop at STEM fields, however. Teams also compete and receive awards for other areas of the project, which include marketing, exhibition, sportsmanship, and team spirit.

Winners of BEST at Penn State DuBois will advance to the Northern Plains BEST Regional Championships, to be held Dec. 1-3 at North Dakota State University. More information can be found at

BEST at Penn State DuBois is made possible by sponsorships from Dave and Francie Spigelmyer, Christine Beretsel, Farmer's National Bank, Miller Welding and Machine, Atlas Press Metals, Abbott Furnace, Comtec Manufacturing Inc., Phoenix Sintered Metals, Eastern Sintered Alloys, Joe and Pat Kirk, and the Alumni and Friends of Penn State DuBois.