bESTology better prepares the teams for the upcoming engineering challenges by providing the teams with hints and knowledge about the current BEST robotics theme.

2016 bESTology is based on farming and agriculture to correlate with Bet The Farm. 

Week 1Break New Ground

  • Introduction to farming and agriculture
  • Farm phrases
  • Evernote and the BEST Farm Journal
  • Consumable kit applications for the farm
  • Exploring the Cooperative Extension Service

Week 2Let’s Talk Farm

  • Farming and agriculture terminology
  • Marketing and Business
  • Media

Week 3Germination of Agriculture and Farming

  • Historic overview of farming and agriculture
  • Mind Mapping
  • Beef Basics

Week 4 – BEST Digs Soil

  • Soil and Science
  • Geology of the U.S.
  • Crop rotation

Week 5Fields of Opportunities

  • Career choices and skill sets
  • Women in agriculture
  • Creating an organization chart
  • Meet your grocer and thank a farmer

Week 6Comparing Apples to Oranges

  • America’s cash crops
  • Crop forecasts and economics
  • Impact of automation on crops

Week 7Circling the Farm

  • Center Pivot Irrigation
  • 3-D printing
  • Pi and farming
  • Teamwork

Week 8Plant Safety First

  • Safety protocols on a farm
  • Food safety
  • BEST practices for safety

Week 9Seeds of Knowledge

  • Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s)
  • Value of bees
  • Svalbard Seed Vault

Week 10Don’t Be A Pest

  • Pesticides, Herbicides and Fungicides
  • MSDS
  • EPA and regulations

Week 11Robots Have Arrived

  • Farming sustainability and automation
  • Farm and agriculture robots
  • Farms of the future

Week 12It’s Time to Grow Up

  • Vertical farming
  • Hydroponics

Week 13When Pigs Fly! Or Do They?

  • Transporting livestock
  • USDA, U.S. State Department and foreign trade
  • Invasive species and imports
  • Freight rates

Week 14Space: The Final Farming Frontier

  • NASA and commercial space corporations
  • Growing food on the International Space Station
  • Science and the cycles involved with farming on Mars

To check out other weeks and themes, visit the bESTology website here.