Falcon BEST Robotics is located in the rural town of Bowling Green, Ohio. Bowling Green is located just south of Toledo in the northern part of the state. Falcon BEST services teams from all over the state of Ohio and generally have between 12 to 18 teams participate each year. They occasionally have requests from teams as far as Indiana and Kentucky, but generally all the competing teams come from the state of Ohio.
Falcon BEST receives their funding from a variety of sources including industrial partners such as First Solar, Robex, and Lathrup Construction Engineering. However, their greatest support comes from the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering at Bowling Green State University. The university president, Dr. Rodney Rogers, and the vice provost, Dr. Joe Whitehead, are very supportive of the program and help orchestrate a lot of what happens throughout the season. Falcon BEST is lead by Resmi KrishnankuttyRema, hub director, Kari Storm, program coordinator, and Lisa Schaller, the field and purchasing coordinator. Together, they constantly pursue ways to improve and strive to make Falcon BEST the premier robotics competition program in the area. Because of the close relationship with Bowling Green State University, there is a vast pool of volunteers from various fraternities and sorority organizations, Thompson Scholars, and the sponsors who also provide assistance. .
Similar to other BEST hubs across the country, Falcon BEST is making strides to return to the pre pandemic numbers and the impact BEST has on their community. In 2019, nearly 1800 team members, families, volunteers, and community leaders convened on the campus of Bowling Green State University for its annual competition. 2019 was the highlight of the Falcon BEST tenure as it transitioned to become a university-wide focused event. This event was live streamed, televised, the mayor was in attendance, and all the unique components of the city and university came together. “It’s a really great experience,” says Kari Storm. After going virtual in 2020 and having experienced reduced numbers, Falcon BEST Robotics made a great return to in-person competition and are looking forward to pre-pandemic participation in seasons yet to come.
One of the unique things Falcon BEST Robotics does is that they offer an all-day conference on the day of the season kick-off. At this event, students are able to receive training on video recording & editing, coding, soldering, and much more. Tours are provided of their Mechatronics lab and students get the opportunity to speak with industry professionals. Food is provided and teams really get an appreciation for the game theme and everything they need to be successful that season.
Hub Spotlight submitted by:
Hutto High School (Hutto, TX) – Jordan Garcia, Riley Kerkering, Scott Shepard, Maxwell Manskie