For the second year in a row, one area robotics team has come out on top at the BEST World Championship.

For the second year in a row, one area robotics team has come out on top at the BEST World Championship.

“It is wonderful to receive the BEST Award for a second year in a row because it shows us that we are doing the right thing,” said Bryant Young, a member of the Homeschool Robotics team from Blue Springs. “It shows us that all our hard work was appreciated, but it also puts a lot of pressure on us to do well the next year and a huge responsibility on us to show that we deserved it.”

The Metro Homeschool Robotics team, which includes 39 middle and high school students from throughout the Kansas City area, received the first place BEST Award at the BEST (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology) National Championship April 16 in Orlando, Fla.

BEST is a nonprofit, volunteer organization based at Auburn University in Alabama and features two competitions. The first is a head-to-head robotics contest in which teams compete in three-minute rounds. The second is a BEST Award competition. This recognizes the overall performance of the team encompassing the robot competition and other areas such as the Project Engineering Notebook, marketing presentation, team exhibit, team interviews and spirit and sportsmanship.

More than 700 teams throughout the world competed in BEST regional events this year. Out of those, only 22 advanced to the World Championship.

The team also received first place in the Project Engineering Notebook, first place in spirit and sportsmanship, third place in the robot competition and the best T-shirt award.

“It is great to see all our hard work pay off,” said team member Trevor Stacy, of Blue Springs. “Our great mentors and great students is what makes us stand above others in the nation. They are ready to work, but more than anything, God has blessed this team. We couldn’t do it without Him.”

Preparation for the BEST competition began in September with a six-week period for the teams to build their robots. The team then placed third at the Frontier Regional BEST competition in December in Fort Smith, Ark. In a separate robotics competition, the Metro Homeschool Robotics team placed 12th at the FIRST Regional Competition in March in Kansas City.

“The robotics program is important for students this age because it teaches us valuable life skills, such as presenting and selling products, and it shows how to build or fix things before they have to learn it in college,” Young said. “That means we have a head start on other people in that particular area. It also teaches the importance of safety at an early age.”

Young said it does not surprise him that a team made up of homeschool students has once again proven to be among the best in the nation in the area of robotics.

“When you are doing something you love, you will naturally try to do that well. We happen to love robotics, want to excel in it, and we are doing very well because of that,” he said. “This is also due to very good mentors. Mentors help us excel by teaching us what they know and helping us to avoid the mistakes that they have made, by doing the right thing. Our mentors are what assists our team to excel at what we do.”