wichita home school
Wichita Home School

It was a “year of excellence” for the 36 competing schools at the annual Frontier Trails BEST robotics competition, but Wichita Home School emerged as the winner of both the robot competition and the BEST Award.


The event, which was held at the Fort Smith Convention Center, is sponsored by the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith and featured teams competing from the regional hubs, including the River Valley BEST robotics competition held in October on the UAFS campus.


In addition to winning both of the overall award categories, Wichita Home School also won the BEST Marketing Presentation award, Project Engineering Notebook award, BEST Spirit and Sportsmanship award and the BEST Founders award.


Following Wichita in the BEST Award category were OKC Home School, Circle Home School and Shattuck High School, while second through fourth place in the robot competition were Perry Techhead Robotics, Valley Center High School, and OKC Home School.


Jason Merritt, electronics technology instructor at UAFS and director of Frontier Trails BEST, said the competing schools performed at a high level.


“It was certainly a year of excellence for our competing schools,” Merritt said. “Not only was the spectator energy record breaking, but the effort level by each team increased as well. At the regional level, exceptional preparation is not surprising. However, the average level of preparation set a new bar. Not only did we have a team score perfect on their marketing presentation for the first time at our regional competition, we had two teams tie them with perfect scores.”


Award winners of the competition were:


BEST Award Category
The OGE Energy Corp. Foundation 1st Place:  Wichita Home School
2nd Place:  OKC Home School

3rd Place:  Circle Home School
IGUS 4th Place:  Shattuck High School

Robot Competition
1st Place: Wichita Home School
2nd Place: Perry Techhead Robotics

3rd Place: Valley Center High School

4th Place: OKC Home School

The Fort Smith Convention Center and Visitors Bureau Project Engineering Notebook Award: Wichita Home School, tied with Fort Smith Junior High and Benton County 4H.

The Baldor Electric Company BEST Marketing Presentation Award: Wichita Home School

The Gerdau BEST Team Exhibit and Interview Award: Circle High School

The Weldon, Williams and Lick, Inc. BEST Spirit and Sportsmanship Award: Metro Homeschool 

BEST Founders Award
1st Place: Wichita Home School
Envision Computers 2nd Place: Metro Home School
3rd Place: Philadelphia Christian Academy

BEST Most Robust Robot Award
1st Place: Campus High School
2nd Place: Republic High School
3rd Place: Nashville High School

BEST Most Elegant Robot Award
Davis Iron and Metal, Inc. 1st Place: Athens Bible School
Lumber One 2nd Place: OKC Home School
3rd Place: METRO Home School

BEST Most Photogenic Robot Award
Eureka Pizza 1st Place: Campus High School
J&B Supply Company 2nd Place: Fort Smith Junior High School
Lowe's of Van Buren 3rd Place: Republic High School

BEST T-Shirt Award
Custom Awards and Engraving 1st Place: Augusta High School
University of Arkansas – Fort Smith 2nd Place: Berryville High School
3rd Place: Shattuck High School

BEST Web Page Award
Shamrock Bolt And Screw Company 1st Place: Lawton Academy
ABF U-Pack Business Development 2nd Place: METRO Home School
3rd Place: River Valley Home School


Arkansas teams who competed in the event were the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts; Athens Bible School; Gosnell High School; Forest Heights STEM Academy; Little Rock Central High School; Parkview High School; Nashville High School; Benton County 4H; Calico Rock High School; Valley Springs High School; L.I.F.E. Home School; Berryville High School; Fort Smith Junior High School; River Valley Home School; and Fulbright Junior High School.


UAFS faculty and staff also volunteered to assist during the competition.


About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Small class sizes, dedicated faculty and staff, affordable tuition rates, and a diverse on-campus culture allow UAFS students to fully explore their areas of interest in ways that prepare them for post-graduate success academically, professionally, and personally. To find out what makes UAFS just right for you, go to www.uafs.edu.


Article by John Post, Director of Public Information
Photo Credits: 
Photo by Rachel Putman, Photographer, Marketing and Communications Office
Date Posted: 
Monday, December 11, 2017
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