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Howard County STEM Club Competes


Nashville, Ark. –  November 5, 2016, Howard County 4-H STEM Club competed in the B.E.S.T. Robotics competition at UALR.  They were in 3rd place during all 19 rounds of competition. They made it into the semi-finals, where they came up short of winning a title. However, since this was Howard County 4-H STEM Club’s first year to compete, they won “Best Rookie Team 2016.”

B.E.S.T. stands for Boosting Engineering Science and Technology. It is a non-profit, volunteer based organization. “A middle and high school robotics competition whose mission is to engage and excite students about engineering, science, and technology as well as inspire them to pursue careers in these fields,” according to their website. Through participation in the project-based STEM program, students learn to analyze and solve problems utilizing the Engineering Design Process, which helps them develop technological literacy skills. It is these skills that industry seeks in its workforce. Each of the 10 team members from Howard County 4-H had a hand in design, engineering, marketing, research or presentation of the finished product. The engineering and design team mates were responsible for developing and repairing the robot, as well as driving it during the competition! The marketing, research and presentation teammates were responsible for obtaining the blue prints of the robot from the engineering teammates, researching the use of robotics in agriculture and compiling it into a journal, as well as presenting the materials at the competition.

This year’s theme was Bet the Farm. The team had to design and build a robot to perform various farming operations in a simulated game field. The operations included: planting corn seeds, harvesting and delivering corn, harvesting and delivering hydroponic tomatoes and lettuce, corralling loose pigs and turning on the water valve. All of these operations were simulated using household items, such as bath loofas for lettuce, golf balls for seeds, paint rollers for corn, toy-like plastic pigs and a water valve made in micro-scale out of PVC pipe. Our team excelled in turning on the water valve and corralling the loose pigs.

The Howard County 4-H STEM club plans on participating in this and similar robotics competitions in the future! If your child is interested in robotics or STEM- science, technology, engineering and math, contact the Howard County Extension office for more information about joining our 4-H STEM Club!


By Tina Williams
Program Assistant - 4-H
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service

Media Contact:
Tina Williams
Program Assistant - 4-H
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517

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