Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science launches BEST Robotics hub in Pittsburgh

Based in the School of Computer Science's (SCS) outreach department, the BEST Robotics CMU hub will invite Pittsburgh schools to form robotics teams and participate in the BEST competition this fall.

PITTSBURGH, March 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science will announce a partnership collaboration with national STEM education nonprofit BEST Robotics at a special event on Thursday to celebrate the new BEST Hub that will serve middle and high school students in the Pittsburgh region.


Based in the School of Computer Science's (SCS) outreach department, the BEST Robotics CMU hub will invite Pittsburgh schools to form robotics teams and participate in the BEST competition this fall. The BEST Robotics program is offered free to schools and students, making STEM education and access to future STEM jobs more accessible to populations that are underrepresented in those fields.

"Together with BEST Robotics, we are working to provide new STEM experiences and instruction for students in our region who otherwise might not benefit from opportunities in the modern workforce," said Jonathan Reynolds, SCS outreach project manager. "There are millions of STEM jobs going unfilled because our country's workforce isn't equipped with skills we need today. By offering programs like BEST Robotics we are teaching the skills and building the pathways that will help our students fill those jobs tomorrow."

The six-week BEST Robotics afterschool program provides a holistic and interdisciplinary experience where students use their skills to build robots, learn the basics of coding and utilize simulation software to test their strategies prior to the competition. The contest's theme and fields change annually. BEST Robotics partners with more than 40 higher education institutions across the country, including Auburn, University of Texas at Dallas, and Grove City College to host BEST Hub competitions and connect students to the next step toward pursuing their STEM interests.

"It's a privilege to partner with the School of Computer Science to bring the program to students in the Pittsburgh area," said Todd Atkins, board president, BEST Robotics. "The STEM ecosystem and the energy around tech in Pittsburgh is nationally renowned. We're thrilled to be able to contribute to an already robust community. The interest from local schools has been overwhelming and we're working to launch additional hubs in the area to meet the requests."

Community organizations, businesses and educational institutions interested in collaborating or volunteering with BEST Robotics can contact, bestED@bestinc.org

The BEST Robotics mission is to make STEM education accessible and inclusive and to engage and excite middle and high school students about engineering, science and technology, ultimately inspiring them to pursue higher educational and career opportunities in these fields. Founded in 1993, BEST operates 45 licensed hubs in more than 900 schools across 17 states, with 4,500 volunteers serving approximately 25,000 students annually.

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