A unique brand of STEM education is arriving at schools throughout Western Pennsylvania with the move of BEST Robotics headquarters to Pittsburgh from its current location in Georgetown, Texas.
BEST — Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology — develops free STEM programs for schools all over the country. The 24-year-old program boasts 5,000 volunteers and mentors operating out of 45 licensed hubs, including one outside of Pittsburgh at Grove City College. The nonprofit organization’s annual competition draws more than 25,000 students in 17 states.
Middle and high school kids from all over the country go head-to-head to show off their STEM skills in science, technology, engineering and math at typical BEST Robotics competition. Cheerleaders and mascots participate, the same as other school competitions.
“The noise level is off the charts. We literally wear earplugs,” says BEST Robotics executive director, Rosemary Mendel. “It’s so exciting to see a celebration of academics at the same level as sports.”
Mendel, a New Castle native who attended the University of Pittsburgh, believes the city’s role as an emerging tech hub makes it a natural fit for BEST to set up shop.
“Being in Pittsburgh gives us that much more validation and credibility because we are on the pulse of everything that’s happening in the technology and engineering sectors,” says Mendel.
Read more about the BEST Robotics plans for Pittsburgh schools at NEXTPittsburgh.