Tennessee Valley BEST Robotics
Tennessee Valley BEST (or “TVB” as it is known) was started in 2003 by a small group of volunteers who worked in the Huntsville area at various engineering based companies. Many were Auburn Engineering graduates. This group continued to run TVB through the 2006 competition, “Laundry Quandary.” In 2007, TVB became a program of Calhoun Community College in partnership with the K-12 Outreach offices of Auburn University’s Ginn College of Engineering and College of Sciences and Mathematics. Fourteen schools from North Alabama and the Birmingham area participated in the 2007 game, “2021: A Robot Odyssey.”
TVB is more than just a partnership between Calhoun and Auburn. Critical to its success is the role played by members of Daybreak Rotary of Decatur and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Huntsville Chapter. Without these individuals and the many local volunteers who serve as judges and event personnel, TVB could not succeed.
In 2008, Calhoun Community College was selected to become the site of the State of Alabama’s much heralded Robotics Center, which will serve as a training facility for industries in North Alabama. TVB factors into the efforts of the Robotics Center as an ideal K-12 workforce development “pipeline” program. Through participation in the BEST program, students develop the ability to work in teams, serve in leadership roles, think analytically, and apply technology in solving complex industrial design problems. Such skills are critical to Alabama’s industries and the development of BEST students’ technological literacy skills will make them prized industry employees.
Our mission is to impact K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) education across North Alabama and South Central Tennessee through schools’ participation in BEST Robotics. BEST excels at preparing today’s youth to become technologically proficient, thus better prepared leadership roles in tomorrow’s workforce.