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Seaside Neighborhood School Competes for B.E.S.T. Robotics Competition

After three consecutive years of intensely demanding participation in the B.E.S.T (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) Robotics competition, the Seaside Neighborhood School’s principal, teachers and parents all agreed: the students needed a one year break.

Seaside students disagreed. Student opinion was best summed up by one 8th grade student who pointed out that since she was in sixth grade, “Seaside has always participated in the B.E.S.T. competition, and I (didn’t) want that to change”.

As a result, for the fourth year running, Seaside Neighborhood students will be competing against 20 other middle and high school teams from Florida’s panhandle at the University of West Florida in Pensacola on Saturday, October 23rd. The B.E.S.T. Competition is designed to inspire students to pursue science and math careers.

An 8th grade referendum resulted in a unanimous commitment to participate. Science teacher Kim Mixson followed that vote by asking the students to recruit at least 60 teammates, adding a green ‘sliming’ incentive to the challenge. The 8th graders exceeded that goal during only two lunch periods. Ms. Mixson, good-naturedly accepted her green Jell-O sliming by the student recruitment leaders. “It was worth it because I know how much fun and learning value the students get from pursuing victory in the B.E.S.T. Competition”.

The students have divided into sub-committees to take on the five competition categories: Project Engineering Notebook, Marketing Presentation, Team Exhibit and Interviews, Spirit and Sportsmanship and Robot Performance.

Based on results of a practice round held on October 16th, the Seaside Neighborhood School robot named James Bond (Flawless James Bond), is once again shaping up to be a top three contender which would allow the students to advance to the South’s B.E.S.T. Regional Championship held at Auburn University on November 20, 2010.

The Seaside Neighborhood School was founded in 1995 to offer participating Walton County 6th through 8th grade students the opportunity to realize their full potential by offering a balanced and flexible curriculum in a setting that is safe, orderly, and small enough that students feel recognized and nurtured. The success of Seaside Neighborhood School is due to its innovative educational program spearheaded by a certified professional faculty.

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