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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Students from across the state gathered at Starkville High today to compete in this year’s BEST Engineering competition.

This is no ordinary science and technology contest. It’s an event, with music and cheering fans, supporting their robotics team. Twenty four high school student teams presented their robot creations after six weeks of preparation. Joseph Tally with the East Rankin Robotics team competed last year too.

“This year has gotten much, much better. We had a little bit more training, a little bit more experience and it’s just been a little bit better this year,” says Tally.

The Mississippi Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology Robotics competition is designed to inspire creativity in high school and middle school students who have an interest in engineering and science. Miandra Mayers participated in the competition for years and is now in college.

“I did this competition from 8th grade to 12th grade and that’s actually what helped me decide I was going to be in engineering. So then I got into industrial engineering. I’m a sophomore at State,” says Mayers, competition volunteer.

Each team was judged by several benchmarks including a marketing presentation, sales booth, engineering skills and robot performance. It’s designed to get students to think critically.

“They need to be able to compete tasks with a little amount of money, a little amount of material and make the most out of what they’re given. So this is going to help them in their jobs, in their life, in their communications with other people. Just help them in their future,” says Angela Trigg, East Rankin Robotics Coach.

The winning teams will travel to Auburn University to compete in the BEST regional competition. BEST is a non-profit organization started in 1997 and run by volunteers.

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