Englewood High School Competes in BEST Robotics Event

Aztlan Medina, Staff Writer

The Best Robotics competition was held recently at Englewood High School. It explores Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology. It looks and feels like a sporting event with music roaring along with cheer squads. Robots and their drivers litter the center of the gymnasium like athletes.


Tami Kirkland is the director in charge of the BEST Robotics event which started in 2015.

“The skills they learn in BEST robotics are enormous. They learn how to build robots. Teamwork and time management, and skills and they have to work together and collaborate in their design process. So they go from prototype all the way through design, In addition, we have a “BEST” award where they bring in their business skills. They have to make a presentation, they set up an exhibit, and learn how to communicate with the community members” 


Sophomore Riley Mckee and Junior Shawn Carter lead the Englewood team at the event with the robotics teacher, Dave Trujilo as the team’s adviser.


Teams in the BEST robotics competition build their own robots to compete against other schools. “It’s a competition where we build robots to put on a course and see how well they can get more points than the other teams,” Mckee said.


Brent Weiffenbach is a senior on the Stemolition team for STEM School Highlands Ranch 

“I was always interested in engineering and inventing things. At my school, we have a few different options, like TSA and BEST and I chose to do BEST. I just really got into BEST and I”m the CEO of our team and I’ve been on our team for 6 years now. I really like BEST so I’m fully committed to going into it.”


Weiffenbach explains that the most difficult part of the competition is the development of their robot, “Just the engineering and design process, I would say the design because you never know if it’s going to work until the first run through so designing the optimal design is interesting and I love coming to competition and seeing all the unique designs because they are all so different and I’m like, awe, I wish I had thought of that thing like that. It is hard to get the perfect design.” 

The STEM School Highlands Ranch did well except for one test where they lost 100 points, however, they got 905 points on their first round. A nearly perfect score. 


Last year, this competition was online, STEM school Highlands Ranch won the driver round, and got 4th place in the finals and first place in BEST. Weiffenbach says he has a future in robotics, “Next year I’m hoping to go to CAl-Poly or a four-year university. I’m really interested in robotics, so I’m going to major in robotics” said Weiffenbach. He may come back to this competition to mentor participants in the future.