The mission of OKBEST is to encourage junior high students
and high school students to select careers in science and
engineering through the use of hands-on ďathleticĒ style robotics
THE BEST CONCEPT
The BEST program is designed to teach teamwork, problem
solving, project management and pride in task completion. This is
accomplished through the partnerships of participating schools with
corporate sponsors. Youth teams are supported by mentors who serve
as role models for the next generation of scientists and engineers.
THE BEST GOALS
The goal of BEST is to demonstrate the excitement of advanced
technical careers to young people who are nearing decisions on
college plans. Team membership is open to all interested students
and participation is without fee to the students or
Seven years ago Dwain Chaffin, Vice President of Texas Instruments,
and also Chair of OCís Engineering Advisory Council presented the
idea of forming OKBEST to the Engineering Department at Oklahoma
Christian University (OC). Lyle Harms continued with the idea,
formed a minimal staff and the first OKBEST was born in 1998.
Jim Cutbirth (a professor of Mechanical Engineering at OC)
chaired the first year. The contest was staffed by volunteers from
OC and local industries. A total of 8 teams competed in this
OKBEST has continued to grow
over the years. In 1999 there were too many teams to continue
competing in OCís University Center and the move was made to OCís
gym. Kickoff was held that year in OCís Conservatory.
Kevin Lewelling assumed the chair position and continued through
2002. 2002 saw the competition increase to 32 teams. There were so
many teams wanting to enter last year that new hubs were established
at Wichita State, Northwestern and the University of Tulsa. The
highlight of kickoff in 2002 was special guest speaker, Jack Kilby,
2000 Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics. He gave a brief overview of
his distinguished career, took questions, and conducted a book
In 2011, OKBEST Produced and Managed Game operations for BEST Inc with
the game "BUGS!".
Unfortunately in 2012, OKBEST fell victim to economic down turns and had
to cease operations.
Although OKBEST is not running, OKBEST staff personel continue
to support the BEST Nation by generating animation for 2013 Warp XX and Game Comittee
advising to 2014's BEST Game - "Paydirt"!
In 2017, OKBEST relaunch on the campus of Rose State College
Public Event Day, which is held a
week before Competition Day in October, allows the teams have to
opportunity to demonstrate their robots to the surrounding
community. This is a great time for the teams to test their robotís
This is also a great time for other schools and Potential Sponsors
to come see the Game Field and talk to the Hub staff
The top teams from the
OKBEST competition are qualified to advance to the BEST
Regional in December at University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
OKBEST is funded from Private and corporate
sponsors. In the past, our sponsors have included such as Lucent,
and JTS Engineering. Many civic workers from
organizations like Tinker, FAA,
The game is limited to a six-week period starting sometime near the
first of September. This time frame is to simulate a product
At Kickoff each team receives an identical tool box of parts for
building their robot. The machine can be built only with parts
included in this kit. This is to simulate a product being built in
the real world within a budget.
Each team receives an identical game task description at Kickoff.
The robots must meet size and weight requirements and complete the
game task. This simulates a customerís requirements and
specifications for a new product.
Each competing school selects its own team members. The design and
building of the robot is the primary decision of the students.
Industry and academic coaches are available as mentors for the
students to encourage and guide them in the process of constructing
their robot. The schools provide at least one teacher-coach,
administrative support, facility access after school hours, and
transportation to the competition site.