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Kansas BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) begins another year with approximately 25 schools participating in the game. The Training/Kickoff is in early September (current schedule) at the WSU Hughes Metroplex, where KS BEST students, teachers and their mentors will learn of this year's robot competition. Each team will receive an identical kit of parts, and have six weeks to design, develop, document and test their robot according to the Game restrictions and standards.

By Practice Day, high school teams will be in the fabrication phase, and by Game Day, 500 or so students will compete against each other, according to restrictions and standards given at Kickoff. The top four KS BEST teams will at the Frontier Trails BEST Regionals in Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

KS BEST funding is provided by corporate, organization and personal sponsors throughout the greater Wichita community. Mentoring is provided by persons from surrounding Kansas communities. Engineers, scientists, technicians, and computer specialists are needed; mechanical, writing, organization, and documentation skills are also welcome. Five mentors are assigned per school so the work load is shared, time requirement is kept limited, and each can contribute. BEST is an excellent opportunity for parents to mentor in teamwork with other mentors, while guiding the students.

Though a few teams meet in the afternoon, most meet in the evening. Each team decides when they want to meet and mentors work within their individual schedules. Five mentors per school allow someone to fill in if a mentor travels and/or has overtime. Most mentors meet with their school team 1 or 2 times a week, but there are always those who contribute more.

To sign up to be a mentor, please fill out our BEST Mentor Volunteer Form.

For for a better understanding of what’s involved, contact Joan Wagner at bestmentor@wichita.edu or (316) 523-1499.