October 29, 2008 Edition

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Hillcrest students win at robotics competition

Students from the Hillcrest High School Applied Robotics DesignzInc (HARDInc) team competed in the Crowley's Ridge Boosting Engineering, Science & Technology BEST Robotics competition Oct. 18 at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

This was the school's first time to compete at this event. The HARDInc team competed against 12 other schools in five different categories. Categories included a timed robotics competition, an oral presentation, an engineering notebook, a booth display and team spirit/sportsmanship. Hillcrest students from several different classes and clubs were involved in the project, including Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST), physics, Math and Science Club and agriculture.

The team won Most Robust Robot Award (the robot that needed the least amount of repairs) and Website Design Award. They also placed third in the overall BEST competition (which combines all five categories) and in the timed robotics competition.

The team will advance to the regional competition, which will be held in Fort Smith, Dec. 4-6. They will compete against 39 other teams from five other states.

This was the third year for the competition sponsored by Crowley's Ridge BEST. The goal of the competition is to get students interested in math and science related fields. The event is financially sponsored by several businesses, including Acxiom, Barton's, Hytrol, Arkansas State University, and by individuals.

Each participating school is supplied with a free kit, which is used to build the robot. At the end of the competition schools may return the kit or buy it.

Schools that are interested in seeing a robotics demonstration or in competing in future BEST competitions can contact Marnie Johnson at Hillcrest High School at 870-528-3856, ext. 35.

Businesses or individuals who are interested in sponsoring the Crowley's Ridge BEST competition can contact, Dr. E.T. Hammerand at Arkansas State University at 870-680-8109.

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