Robotics are a great way to challenge students in the Engineering and Technology classroom, as well as an extracurricular activity. This page will give you all the information you need to know to start your own robotics team and compete around the state for a yearly chance to compete in the World Tournament.

Best Robotics

VEX Robotics

First Robotics

MATE Robotics

TEAMS Robotics

NEDC Robotics

BEST Robotics

National BEST Robotics

Georgia BEST Robotics

What is BEST?

Take plywood and a box filled with items such as PVC pipe, screws and other hardware, an irrigation valve cover, piano wire, aluminum paint grid, a bicycle inner tube, a BRAIN (BEST Robotics Advanced Instruction Node programmable platform), and something called a micro-energy chain system and try, within six weeks, to design and build a functioning machine that can perform certain, specific tasks in three minutes. What do you get?

You get BEST, a middle and high school robotics competition whose mission is to engage and excite students about engineering, science, and technology as well as inspire them to pursue careers in these fields.

Through participation in our project-based STEM program, students learn to analyze
and solve problems utilizing the Engineering Design Process, which
helps them develop technological literacy skills. It is these skills that industry seeks
in its workforce.

Each fall, over 750 middle and high schools and over 11,000 students participate in the competition.

BEST FactsAbout 2

BEST Robotics Inc. (BRI) is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization headquartered at Auburn University (AL).

Schools participate at no cost -- there is no fee.

Any school may participate regardless of socioeconomic status, size, or location. Public, private, and home school groups or organizations (that is, not individual families) are welcomed to participate.

Students are the primary participants and benefactors. Students perform all of the work; mentors serve as guides and advisors.

Engineers and other technical professionals from local industries serve as team mentors.

Over 3500 volunteers help run the local competitions and regional championships by serving as event personnel, judges, and team mentors.

As a result of participating in BEST, students…

About 3
  • Understand the practical use of math concepts and applied physics

  • Solve real-world science and engineering problems, training that is transferable to all academic disciplines and career pursuits

  • Gain an increased interest in engineering, math, and science

  • Understand what engineers do — the engineering profession is “de-mystified”

  • Experience “design-to-market” product development

  • Receive recognition and acclaim typically reserved for their peers in sports

Students become competent and confident in:

    • Abstract Thinking

    • Self-Directed Learning

    • Teamwork

    • Project Management

    • Decision-Making

    • Problem-Solving

    • Leadership

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VEX Robotics

What exactly is VEX?

The VEX Robotics Design System offers students an exciting platform for learning about areas rich with career opportunities spanning science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These are just a few of the many fields students can explore by creating with VEX Robotics technology. Beyond science and engineering principles, a VEX Robotics project encourages teamwork, leadership and problem solving among groups. It also allows educators to easily customize projects to meet the level of students’ abilities. The affordable VEX platform is expanding rapidly and is now found in middle schools, high schools and university labs around the globe. Robotics hobbyists also appreciate the advanced capabilities of the VEX System.

VEX Competition Robot Suppliers

The following suppliers can help you make your first VEX purchase or upgrade your current VEX robots!

VEX Robotics

Learning Labs

Upcoming Competitions

For a full list of competitions around the country and for more information on how to enter a competition, please visit Robot Events.


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FIRST Robotics

FIRST National Robotics

What is FIRST?

For students aged 6-18, it’s the hardest fun you’ll ever have. For team mentors, coaches, and volunteers, it’s the most rewarding adventure you’ll ever undertake. For sponsors, it’s the most enlightened investment you could ever make. FIRST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, engineering, technology, and math. Founded over 20 years ago by inventor Dean Kamen, the 2009-2010 FIRST season attracted more than 210,000 youth and more than 90,000 mentors, coaches, and volunteers from 56 countries. The annual programs culminate in an inter national robotics competition and celebration where teams win recognition, gain self confidence, develop people and life skills, make new friends, and perhaps discover an unforeseen career path.  

How can you compete?

There are four divisions in FIRST Robotics. These divisions are divided up into age groups and competition levels.

For Elementary School (grades K-3), students can compete in the Junior FIRST LEGO League. Students competing in this division use basic LEGO's and simple machinery to construct robots.

For Middle School (grades 4-8), students may compete in the FIRST LEGO League. Students utilize LEGO's Mindstorm and other branded products to build and compete robots.

For High School aged students (grades 9-12), teams can compete in two areas, the FIRST Tech Challenge or the FIRST Robotics Competition. The rules and limitations are different for each competition and require unique knowledge, skills, and abilities.

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MATE Robotics


MATE Education Center

MATE Robotics

What is MATE?

MATE stands for Marine Advanced Technology Education. The center utilizes underwater robotics competitions to educate students and spur innovation in the realm of marine technology. Yearly competitions are held internationally for student underwater robotics (remotely operated vehicle or ROV) competition and a network of 20 regional ROV contests that take place across U.S. and in Canada, Hong Kong, Scotland, and Japan. Student teams from upper elementary, middle schools, high schools, home schools, community colleges, universities, and community organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club and 4-H, participate.

The competitions consists of three different "classes" that vary depending on the sophistication of the ROVs and the mission requirements. In addition to technical skills, the events help students to develop the ability to problem solve, think critically, and work as part of a team. By connecting students with employers and professionals from the workplace, the competitions also expose students to ocean-related career opportunities and help them to see the pathways to those careers.

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TEAMS Robotics

TEAMS Robotics

What is TEAMS?

The JETS TEAMS program is an annual high school competition challenging students to work collaboratively and apply their math and science knowledge in practical, creative ways to solve real everyday engineering challenges.  After participating in TEAMS, students increase their knowledge of engineering, feel more confident about participating in engineering activities and increase their ability to work with others to solve complex problems.

In recent years, countless reports have identified troublesome science and math achievement gaps in America, and signaled the need for renewed efforts to cultivate a competitive 21st century workforce. These reports point to the necessity of programs that foster STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) literacy in effective ways, and across a broader range of young people.

The TEAMS Competition helps develop “STEM-capable” students in an engaging way by showing them how math and science, with an engineering focus, are used to make tangible differences in the world.

Focused on a theme each year, original academic and innovative concepts are developed for the competition based on the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges. Tackling these challenges requires critical job-readiness skills such as collaboration, analytical thinking, and multidimensional problem-solving.

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NEDC Robotics

NEDC Robotics

What is NEDC?

The National Engineering Design Challenge (NEDC) is an annual design competition in which students, in grades 9-12, put their creativity and problem-solving skills to use and create a workplace assistive technology device for a person with a disability. In this cross-curricular competition, students discover engineering through real-world applications that impact people in their community and change lives.

Starting in September, student teams from across the country vie for the chance to advance through three rounds of competition. All teams conduct research, identify a workplace problem they want to solve and design their device. Then, selected winning teams progress to creating a video demonstration in hopes of attending the National Finals.

In February, the top five winning teams win a trip to Washington, DC for the National Finals where they'll present and defend their device design in front of a panel of judges. National Finalist teams compete to receive prizes including cash scholarships, medals and trophies and other special awards as well as the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams Excite Award.

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