DC BEST UNT teamThe University of North Texas’s Department of Engineering Technology is helping bring back DC BEST – Denton County’s Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology Robotics competition. It is a six-week extracurricular robotics contest among local middle and high school students during fall 2018.

Engineering Technology faculty Leticia Anaya and Huseyin Bostanci, director and assistant director of DC BEST, are leading the process.

“The primary goal of DC BEST Robotics is to motivate Denton County middle and high school students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math fields,” said Anaya. “DC BEST Robotics is especially interested in recruiting schools from rural areas and economically disadvantaged schools. It also aims to develop the leadership, communication and community service skills in UNT students by having them serve in key positions throughout the competition.”

“The Department of Engineering Technology at UNT is keenly committed to supporting the program,” said Enrique Barbieri, the chair of UNT Electrical Engineering program, “not only because of its relevance to the current engineering technology programs we offer, but more importantly because DC BEST impacts our ability to increase STEM awareness and to attract young minds to pursue a STEM career.”

Since DC BEST Robotics provides everything at no charge to schools, including supplies, game field, facilities and insurance, support from the industry is relied on to make it possible. Anaya says the more industry support that exists, the more schools that DC BEST Robotics can serve.

Current sponsors include the TAMU Nuclear Power Institute, UNT Provost Office, UNT College of Engineering, UNT Department of Engineering Technology, Quality Industries, Mario and Apple, Peterbilt, Zodiac Aerospace, Jostens and the UNT Math Department. 

The DC BEST Robotics hub competition consists of four events: kickoff, practice day, pre-game and game day. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 8, at Discovery Park. Orientation and training will be provided along with distribution of supplies to the participating schools. Eighteen to 20 schools are expected to participate.

Practice Day, where robots will participate on the actual game field before the competition, will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. Pre-game Day is set for 3 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 and includes robot check in, presentations and game installation. Game day competition is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. Practice Day, Pre-game day and the Game Day competition will all be held at the UNT Coliseum.

For information about volunteer or sponsorship opportunities, contact Anaya at lanaya@unt.edu or (940) 565-2022.