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Wichita Homeschool Tops at FT BEST Event

Wichita Homeschool Tops at FT BEST Event(Posted: December 15, 2010)

They got beat out of top honors last year, but Wichita Homeschool of Wichita, Kan., came on strong and won this year's Frontier Trails BEST Regional Robotics Competition, sponsored by the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith and the City of Fort Smith.

The Kansas school had taken top awards at the regional contest four years in a row up until last year, but this year's contest on Dec. 10-11 saw them back on top again. Competitions under the BEST heading – which stands for Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology – are held across the nation, with UA Fort Smith involved in two levels, the River Valley BEST competition and the next level, the Frontier Trails BEST event.

In addition to the top-level BEST Award at the Frontier Trails event, which is given to the top overall team which embodies the concept of BEST, Wichita Homeschool also took first place in the Robot Competition and received awards in two other categories – BEST Project Engineering Notebook and BEST Marketing Presentation.

Second place in the BEST Award category went to OKC Homeschool of Edmond, Okla., with third place to Metro Homeschool of Blue Springs, Mo. In the Robot Competition, others placing were Kittson Central High School of Hallock, Minn., second place; Ambassadors for Christ Academy of Bentonville, third place; and REACH Homeschool of Sabin, Minn., fourth place.

John Martini of Fort Smith, FT Trails BEST director and assistant professor at UA Fort Smith, said this year's competition was unbelievable.

"We had 38 top notch schools competing in this year's event, and they all were winners in my book," said Martini. "The push in American manufacturing to improve quality and remove defects from their process was the main emphasis in this year's game, titled, Total Recall."

Martini said the BEST robotics events have a purpose beyond the competition itself.

"Year after year, BEST continues to push the envelope for our students and affords them the opportunity to participate in a competition that prepares them for the workforce of the future," he said.

Additional winners included:

BEST Team Exhibit: Climax-Shelley Independent School District of Climax, Minn.

Best Spirit and Sportsmanship: Circle High School of Towanda, Kan.

igus Top Gun Award: Metro Homeschool of Blue Springs, Mo.

Founders Award: Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts of Hot Springs, first place; Metro Homeschool of Blue Springs, Mo., second place; and Ambassadors for Christ Academy of Bentonville, third place.

Most Robust: West Memphis Christian School, West Memphis, first place; Buffalo Island Central of Leachville, second place; and Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts of Hot Springs, third place.

Most Elegant: Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts of Hot Springs, first place; Kittson Central High School of Hallock, Minn., second place; and Climax-Shelley Independent School District of Climax, Minn., third place.

Most Photogenic: Tulsa Engineering Academy at Memorial, Tulsa, Okla., first place; Kittson Central High School of Hallock, Minn., second place; and Watertown High School of Watertown, S.D., third place.

T-Shirt Award: Tulsa Engineering Academy at Memorial, Tulsa, Okla., first place; Western Arkansas Technical Center at UA Fort Smith, second place; and Jefferson City Public Schools of Jefferson City, Mo., third place.

Web Page Award: Metro Homeschool of Blue Springs, Mo., first place; REACH Homeschool of Sabin, Minn., second place; and Hillcrest High School of Strawberry, third place.



Article by: Sondra LaMar, Director of Public Relations
Photo(s) by: Kat Wilson, Photographer, Marketing and Communications Office

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