The OK BEST Staff
School Teams
Mall Day Order
Game files




About OKBest

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 competition.

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 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 the schools.

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 inaugural contest.

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.

In 2001, 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 signing.

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 performance.
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, ConocoPhillips, and JTS Engineering. Many civic workers from organizations like Tinker, FAA, ConocoPhillips, JTS Engineering,

The game is limited to a six-week period starting sometime near the first of September. This time frame is to simulate a product time-to-market constraint.

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.