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 850 middle and high schools and over 18,000 students participate in the competition.