Spain Park High finishes first in North Alabama BEST Robotics debut, Good Hope Middle School and Fairview High also advance

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Image: Good Hope Middle School celebrates after they learn they’ve advanced to Auburn in December for the regional competition.

HANCEVILLE – Spain Park High School put together an impressive debut at the 2016 North Alabama BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) Robotics competition on Friday at Wallace State Community College, winning the 2016 Best Award. Spain Park made its first appearance in the event at Wallace State after competing in previous years at the Blazer Best competition at UAB.

Spain Park captured nine trophies overall, including second place in BEST game, and first in the following categories: BEST Simulink Design Award, Team of Distinction, BEST Marketing Presentation, BEST team exhibit and interview, BEST project engineering notebook, BEST software and design and simulation and BEST Pep Band.

Spain Park was one of three schools to punch its ticket to the South’s BEST Regional Robotics Championship at Auburn University on Dec. 3-4.

Fairview High School is headed to Auburn for the second straight year after winning first place in the BEST game competition on the Coliseum floor and Good Hope Middle School also advances for the third straight year, after finishing second in the overall BEST Award. Spain Park, Fairview and Good Hope Middle will be among 54 schools represented from six states at the South’s BEST event.

“It seems like every year the talent gets better and better at this competition. The qualities of the robots improve and attention to detail during all of the presentations continues to grow,” said Jimmy Hodges, Wallace State’s dean of Applied Technologies. “We were able to inherit several teams from the Birmingham area this year, and it improved the quality of our teams even more.”

Because no BEST competition was held in Birmingham this year, the North Alabama BEST Robotics competition featured new teams, including Spain Park, The Altamont School, Homewood High, Homewood Middle School, Minor High, S.A.L.T. (Warrior), Calera Middle School, W.J. Christian School and Woodlawn. Oneonta Middle School competed in Hanceville for only the second year.

Returning schools and faces at the event included Good Hope High, Good Hope Middle School, Fairview High, the Cullman Area Technical Academy and Cullman Middle School.

The competition annually brings some of the more talented middle and high school students to the college. Teams have to focus on effectively operating their robots on the game floor amidst the pure energy and enthusiasm demonstrated within the walls at the coliseum. Teams also present marketing plans to a panel of judges prior to the event and set up booths on game day promoting their product.  

The BEST Game Day theme this year was “Bet the Farm.”

The overall BEST Award won by Spain Park measures all aspects of the event. Good Hope Middle School finished second overall and Homewood Middle School was third.

Following Fairview High in the BEST game competition was Spain Park in second place and Homewood Middle School in third. 

Other BEST trophies were presented at the conclusion of the event.Fairview High also won the Founder’s Award, the IGUS Top Gun Award and the Most Robust Machine.

Good Hope High won the BEST sprit and sportsmanship award, the Cullman Area Technical Academy claimed the BEST T-shirt design, S.A.L.T. Academy earned tops in BEST mascot and Oneonta Middle School won the BEST blood sweat and duct tape award.   

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