UNA Pressroom

UNA New Home to BEST Robotics Competition

May. 23, 2023

Michelle R. Eubanks , UNA, at meubanks@una.edu, 256.765.4392

FLORENCE, AL – The University of North Alabama has been named the new home of the annual BEST Robotics Competition, the premier national program with 50 local competition sites in 18 states throughout the United States. More than 850 middle and high schools, and more than 18,000 students participate in the annual competition that will take place in December. 

“Being named the new home to the annual South’s BEST Robotics competition is a win for the University as well as our region,” said Dr. Ross Alexander, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “We are extremely proud of the work that went into securing this event, and it is absolutely fitting that UNA, as Alabama’s Workforce Development University, would have the opportunity to showcase our engineering, computing, technology, and even marketing programs; as well as our beautiful campus for teams from around the country.” 

BEST, or Boosting Engineering Science and Technology, establishes the middle and high school curricula and competition standards used by robotics programs in the U.S. in order to compete in the annual competition. The mission of BEST is to engage and excite students about engineering, science, and technology as well as to inspire them to pursue careers in these fields. 

Through participation in BEST’s STEM program, students learn to analyze and solve problems using the Engineering Design Process, which helps them develop technological literacy skills that industry seeks in its workforce. 

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to host South’s BEST Robotics competition at UNA,” said Julie Taylor Yates, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management. “South’s BEST uses the excitement of robotics to teach engineering and business processes; therefore, UNA is excited to host students interested in multiple disciplines like STEM, Nursing, Education, and Business. We hope to be able to offer varied scholarships to the winners. And, as Alabama’s Workforce Development University, South’s BEST is the perfect fit.” 

Competitions will take place throughout the fall at high schools in the Southeast region. The winning teams will then bring their best designs to the regional competition at UNA in early December. Previously, the South’s BEST Robotics competition had taken place at Auburn University.

About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/