The MCHS Robotics team competed at Mississippi BEST Robotics on October 21-22 at Mississippi State University.  

"Mississippi BEST is designed to inspire and interest students in engineering, science, and technology through participation in an exciting sports-like technology contest. The BEST competition motivates students by challenging them to build a remote-controlled robot that accomplishes a defined task within a competitive setting. A mentor and a school coach guide student teams through the engineering process.

Using only the materials provided, students have six weeks to design, develop, and test a robot that can outperform their competitors. During this time, the students experience the same problems, challenges, and breakthroughs that an engineering team encounters when it takes a product to market. In both cases, there are team dynamics, time constraints, material constraints, and pressure from other teams who are trying to solve the same problem. Placed in a real situation, with real problems, the students provide real (and surprisingly ingenious) solutions. The weeks of hard work culminate in a thrilling day long competition where one team achieves “BEST” performance. The
inspiring event combines the excitement of a high school football game with the strategy of a chess match and the intellectual challenge of a science fair.

The heart of BEST is the experience of solving a seemingly overwhelming task using simple engineering methods and old-fashioned teamwork. Thanks to this experience, students who participate in BEST are better prepared to meet the challenges of the future." (source") 

In past challenges, the team had to create a robot that could gather specific items in a warehouse and deliver them to be packed and shipped; a common task in most fulfillment firms.  The robot's 'brain' is a computer that knows the location of each item and has calculated the most efficient way to retrieve items from those locations. It performs those functions based on the student's brain and dexterity. For 2022, the challenge designers raised the bar by asking teams to create a robot that would replace the student operator. and have the capability to build another robot.  In essence, the robot is replacing the human this time. 

MCHS has entered the competition every year since 2017 except for 2021 due to the pandemic.  They have advanced to South's BEST Regional Competition five times (2013, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2022).  

Team members are Joey Davis, AJ Finley, Deana Lerner, Madison McCullar, Landon Smith, Kyndle York, Rhett Bivens, Kolben Bussell, Ethan Duncan, Cort Shavers, Mac Shumaker, Dakota Davis, Ethan Racknor, and Madison Ruth.  The team earned the following awards:

*The Founder's Award for Creative Robot Design
*1st Place Spirit & Sportsmanship
*3rd Place Robot Head-To-Head Competition
*3rd Place BEST Overall
*The Dale Jordan Award for Outstanding Mentor

The MCHS team is coached by Robin York, Melissa Maness and Mell Surratt.  Coach York said, "“I am extremely proud of these young students. They walked into a high stress competition and handle themselves with class. They represented our sponsors, our schools, and our county well. Only one person on our team has competed in BEST before today and the learning curve for everyone was steep. However, these young men and women handled it all with confidence and grace.”

Robotics would like to say a huge thank you to their generous sponsors, without whom their participation would not be possible:  Dmint Cryptocurrency Mining (Olb.Com), Keestone Academy, Precision Assembly, Jackson Area Robotics, Clear Bags, Pickwick Electric Cooperative, Charles Stackhouse, Edward Jones – Sam Vise, Salon South, Atzimba’s, Michelle Kientz, April Shavers, Sherri Nash, Rj’s, Elam Trucking Company Inc., Bonnie Smith, Heather Azevedo, and Carolyn Plunk.

The team will compete at South's BEST Regional competition at Auburn University on December 3-4.

(L to R) AJ Finley, Landon Smith, Kolben Bussell, Joey Davis, and Mac Shumaker


IMAGE 1 - Marketing Team (L to R) Ethan Duncan, Deana Lerner, Madison Ruth, Rhett Bivens 
IMAGE 2 - Madison Ruth, Rhett Bivens, Ethan Racknor, Dakota Davis, Ethan Duncan, and Cort Shavers


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