Blazer BEST is...
· A simulation of real world business and engineering environment.
· An opportunity for students to learn Engineering, Technology, and Team concepts.
· A fun and exciting competition to intrigue students into STEM pursuits.
· An opportunity for adults to share enthusiasm and knowledge of their chosen career.
BEST is not…
· A competition for coaches and mentors.
· A “win at all costs” program.
· Focused on fundraising.
The team goals are…
· To construct a robust machine that is simple, reliable, flexible, and strategic.
· Design and implement an effective marketing plan.
· Learn from the six-week development process…not just compete on game day.
· Exercise for good sportsmanship.
Useful mentor skills include:
· Engineering (any discipline)
· Practical mechanical/electrical skills
· RC hobby and “techie” skills
· Tool safety
· Web authoring
· Technical and creative writing
· Organizational and publicity skills
· Artistic/ graphic arts
· Public speaking
· Spirit leading
A mentor should:
· Set an example (be on-time, ready to work, know when to play and when to work).
· Provide an understanding of the engineering process.
· Explain the importance of schedules and budgets.
· Describe the organizational process.
· Provide technical guidance.
· Ensure that students consider all phases of the contest.
· Explain brainstorming techniques.
· Discuss methods for evaluating design concepts.
· Describe prototyping methods.
· Relay any rules questions to the hub’s technical coordinator.
· Distribute answers to all questions.
· Ensure all rules are followed.
· Assess skill levels of students and utilize accordingly.
· Demonstrate sponsor appreciation.
· Resist temptation to improve students’ designs and executions.
MENTOR TIME COMMITMENT
BEST encourages 3-6 mentors per team so that the work load per mentor is lessened. ***Please note that this time frame is on the high side, and each school will differ with the amount of time they spend per week; however, schools that have been successful spend this much time, and more!
Period Activity Time
Week 1: Kickoff Meeting and Brainstorming 2-3 days, 3 hrs/day
Week 2: Brainstorming and Prototyping 2-3 days, 3 hrs/day
Week 3: Prototyping and Start Maching Build 3-4 days, 3 hrs/day
Week 4: Machine Build and Mall Day 3-4 days, 3 hrs/day
Week 5: Maching Build 3-4 days, 3 hrs/day
Week 6: Refinement and Driving Practice 3-4 days, 3-4 hrs/day
Week 5: Game Day 8:00 am-6:00pm