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WIRED Robotics Competes at BEST State Robotics Competition Amid COVID Constraints

HOUSTON, Jan. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The WIRED Robotics team at Westbrook Intermediate School in Clear Creek ISD advanced to the Texas BEST Robotics Competition for the 9th year in a row. BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) is a robotics competition that emphasizes the engineering process and marketing of a robot in addition to driving the system on a game field.  This year’s game theme, Outbreak, requires the team to design, build, and operate a micro-robot, manually and autonomously, to isolate virus infected cells from others, and apply localized vaccines to slow or stop the spread of the infection.

This season has been especially challenging due to COVID safety restrictions. Our local hub, North Houston BEST, and state organizers, Texas BEST Robotics, had to revamp the yearly game and offer 3 ways to participate: virtual only, classroom competition, and multi-team (in person) competition.  WIRED chose the classroom competition option.  Following social distancing rules and mask requirements, the team met, designed, and built a robot and practice field in the robotics lab at Westbrook Intermediate.   

Team members had to frequently collaborate via Microsoft Teams meetings.  Since the robot is manufactured from raw materials like PVC pipe, plywood, and metal pieces, that presented unique constraints and challenges this year.  Moreover, the marketing presentation, virtual exhibit booth interviews, critical design review, and time trials were livestreamed to the judges at North Houston BEST and Texas BEST competitions.

The team had support from community businesses and mentors from the September 11th, 2020 Kickoff through the State Competition on December 12th, 2020.  Dr. John Pfeifer, Thermofisher Scientific Field Application Specialist, gave a presentation to the team to explain how viruses infect cells and how vaccines work.  Thermofisher also provided PPE in the form of masks, nitrile gloves, and hand sanitizer. Systran Technical and Training Services helped with community outreach by promoting our team’s efforts on a world-wide newswire.  Mr. David Hirsch of Systran also provided guidance to the WIRED marketing team for the presentation portion of the competition.  Mr. Burke Paul, P5 Printing, supplied student designed team t-shirts and Mrs. Catherine Overcash, Pumpkin Daisy Designs, the matching team facemasks.  Mr. Justin Nava, Nava Creative Services, produced the promotional video for the WIRED website.  Finally, Mr. Frank Solis of Supreme1 Auto Repair, coordinated with the state judges via livestream to provide oversite as the Trusted Agent during the Texas BEST State Competition.

See more about our WIRED team, the competition, and the robot at

Lisa Peifer
[email protected]

SOURCE Clear Creek ISD

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