BIC Robotics team wins BEST award

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Buffalo Island Central Robotics team recently competed in the Crowley's Ridge BEST Robotics competition. The team placed first in the robot competition and also took home the competition's most prestigious award, the BEST award. The BEST award is based on scores in five categories: the engineering notebook, spirit and sportsmanship, table display and interview, marketing presentation, and robot competition. The team also won the award for Most Robust Robot and the Top Gun award, given to the team whose robot driver had the highest individual score in the competition.

BIC Robotic Team members are, from left: Back -- Greydon Williams, Scott Bowen, Larry Farmer, Codey Pate, Drew McFall, Sam Bollinger. 2nd row -- Lance McDonald, Bradley May, Hunter Drury, Trevor Drury, Amber Rolland. 3rd row -- Katie Bibb, Brianna Bearden, Stephanie Hill. Front (kneeling) -- Devin Misner, Evan Long, Ben Sands.

The team will now advance to the regional competition, Frontier Trails BEST. This competition will take place in Fort Smith, on Dec. 10. There the team will compete against 37 other schools from various states, including Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, and Louisiana.

Last year the team was nationally ranked in the top 25 BEST Robotics team. BIC is a charter member of Crowley's Ridge BEST Robotics and has advanced to the regional competition all six years.

This year's robotics game theme was Bugs. Each team had to construct a robot that could collect and store flies, termites, and cockroaches simulated by everyday materials. BIC's robot's name is MITE, which stands for Mechanical Insect Transportation Engine.

Members of the team include seniors Sam Bollinger, Trevor Drury, Devin Misner, and Amber Rolland; juniors Katie Bibb, Scott Bowen, and Larry Farmer; sophomores Brianna Bearden, Stephanie Hill, Codey Pate, and Ben Sands; freshmen Bradley May, Lance McDonald, and Greydon Williams; eighth grader Hunter Drury; and seventh grader Drew McFall. The team's school sponsors include Steve Brummett, John Hantke, Deborah Olive, and John Rowlett.

Business and community sponsors of the team include David Wildy Farms, Farm Bureau of Manila, Farmer's Plant Food, Inc., Heritage Bank of Leachville, Leachville Discount Drug, Liberty Bank of Monette, Mayor Spurlock and the City of Leachville, McFarlin Pharmacy, Tracey Yates-Thompson Photography, John Edwards Farms, Nucor Yamato Steel, and Southern Bank of Leachville. Anyone interested in making a donation to the robotics team to help fund their trip to regional competition may contact John Hantke or Deborah Olive at the BIC Junior High School by phone at 870-539-6883 or by email at or

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