Youth Development

BEST Robotics, Inc.

  • Georgetown, TX
  • http://www.bestinc.org

Mission Statement

BEST is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization whose mission is to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science, technology, and math (STEM) through participation in a sports-like, science- and engineering-based robotics program.

Students participate in a six-week long, fall robotics program experience supported by local industries and organizations who provide mentors – technical professionals and engineers – to help guide the students. Students are the sole participants and primary decision‐makers, designers and builders of a BEST robot. There is no fee for students to participate and the equipment and materials needed for the robotics division of the competition are provided at no cost to the school.

Since 1994, BEST Robotics, Inc. (BRI) has engaged over 200,000 middle school and high school students from across the nation. Each year we support nearly 900 teams of an average of 20 students each through the generous support of our volunteers and sponsors. Our program attracts significant numbers of young women (34%) and minorities (41%). By providing our students with a real-world engineering experience that incorporates a practical application of math and science, our students emerge technology literate, are better prepared to enter the workforce, and develop leadership, project management, teamwork and organizational skills. These students will be the STEM professionals of the future.

Main Programs

  1. Boosting Engineering Science and Technology Robotics Competition

service areas

National

Self-reported by organization

ruling year

1998

chief executive for fy 2015

Ms. Janne Ackerman

Self-reported by organization

co-chief executive for fy 2014

Dr. Kenneth Berry

Self-reported by organization

Keywords

engineering, science, technology, robotics, students, outreach

Self-reported by organization

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EIN

75-2733350

Physical Address

817 Simon Drive

Plano, TX 75025

Also Known As

BEST

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

Single Organization Support (O11)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Self-reported by organization

Program 1

Boosting Engineering Science and Technology Robotics Competition

The program involves having middle and high school students design, build, then demonstrate a robotic machine to play a sports-like "game". Engineers from local industry act as mentors to guide the students in the engineering process, teaming and other business principles. The contest is designed to simulate a real-world business and engineering environment. The contest simulates:
1) Time to Market - through a limited time period (only 6 weeks);
2) Design to Cost - by providing a "kit" of raw materials from which the robot must be designed. No other parts are allowed; 
3) Design to Function - by requiring teams to build a robot that meets design restrictions such as size/weight and still performs specific tasks in the game to earn points.

 

Students learn other aspects of product development such as advertising, fund raising, technical writing, business operations, teamwork and leadership, etc. There are no entry fees and all materials are provided for the participating schools.

 

There are many hubs (local contest sites) throughout the United States. Each hub sets it's own budget, performs it's own fundraising and executes the local competition.  All hubs use the same game, kit materials and time-frame for the contest, as defined and controlled by BEST Robotics, Inc.  The budget for a typical hub is approximately $1200 per team.  Hubs host from 8 to 32 teams.

Category

Education

Budget

Population Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

service areas

National

Self-reported by organization

Social Media

@BEST Robotics, Inc.

@@bestrobotics #BESTROBOTICS

@bestinc.org, BEST

Funding Needs

Local Hub Funding - 41 hubs(http://best.eng.auburn.edu/b_best_hubs.php) in 14 states operate on a budget of $20,000 - $30,000 each and are solely funded by local businesses, universities, and other organizations. Because of this funding, teams do not pay any entry fee for participation and are all kit materials are provided at no cost to the teams.   Championship Funding - 3 regional championships(http://best.eng.auburn.edu/b_best_regions.php) and 1 world championship(http://best.eng.auburn.edu/world-championship/) are funded through local, regional and national sponsorship, operating on budgets from $50,000 to $80,000.  These events celebrate winners from the local competitions and provide students with exposure to university/college campuses and other technology-related experiences.

photos




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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

BEST ROBOTICS, INC.
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

BEST Robotics, Inc.

Leadership

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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CHIEF EXECUTIVE FOR FISCAL YEAR

Ms. Janne Ackerman

co-chief executive

Dr. Kenneth Berry

BIO

Janne Ackerman serves as Executive Director of BEST Robotics, Inc., a non-profit company whose mission is to engage and excite students about engineering, science, and technology as well as inspire them to pursue careers in these fields. Ackerman's involvement in BEST started in 2000 when she first volunteered to judge a local BEST competition. Ackerman served on the Board of Directors from 2003 through 2008, and served as President 2005 - 2008. She serves as head judge for the Texas BEST Robotics Regional Championship and as co-director for Collin County (CoCo) BEST Robotics hub.

Prior to her retirement from Raytheon at the end of 2013, Ackerman served as Director of the Global Positioning System (GPS) Advanced Control System (OCX) Software under the vice president of GPS OCX. She oversaw software development for this next generation GPS system. Previously, Ackerman served as director of Airborne Processors which provides secure high performance processing solutions for fighter aircraft such as F-16, F-22, and F-35 as well as secure solutions for airborne radars and electro-optic systems. Prior to that, she served as director for the Texas Engineering Center (TEC), a multi-discipline engineering group. Ackerman's focus and efforts in skills development for the center helped grow the business by 25% over three years.

Ackerman received her bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Oklahoma and her master's degree in software engineering from Southern Methodist University. Ackerman served as Raytheon's Industry Fellow at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, where she earned a master's degree in National Resource Strategy. She is a private pilot and spends time restoring vintage aircraft with her husband at their hangar in McKinney, TX.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Dr. Kenneth Berry

UT Dallas

Term: Jan 2014 - Jan 2016

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

No

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
Race & Ethnicity
This organization reports that it does not collect this information.
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Disability
This organization reports that it does not collect this information.