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Published October 29 2010

Robotics competition opens today in Fargo

Area high school and middle school students will begin facing off today in the Bison BEST Robotics competition at the Fargo Civic Center.

Teams of sixth- through 12th-graders from 24 schools in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Canada will compete in the event coordinated by the North Dakota State University College of Engineering and Architecture.

BEST stands for “Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology” and is meant to inspire students to pursue careers in those fields.

Today will be focused on judging exhibits and interviews in Centennial Hall. Robots will also be put through compliance checks. Robot practice will be in the main arena from 1 to 5 p.m., said Nancy Rossland, the competition director.

“The real atmosphere is on Saturday,” she said, as the teams face off in the arena. “We’ll be running the robots all day long.”

The opening ceremony Saturday is at 8:30 a.m., the awards ceremony about 4 p.m., Rossland said.

Six teams advance to regional competition in Fort Smith, Ark., on Dec. 3-4.

The event is free and open to the public.