God

 Do you think the booth is becoming less important? votes

 Yes 1 votes
20%
 No 4 votes
80%
This poll has been closed.
Have you noticed that the Booth is appearing to become less and less important? This year they seemingly forgot to put any booth rules in the generic rules or specific rules. I had to check the Q&A To make sure. Do y'all think that this is odd, and that they may take away booth? [angel]
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jgraber
The booth is part of the BEST award, not part of the game, so the game rules generic or specific is the wrong place to look, and the Awards and Judging guidelines is the right place to look, and there it is.
 
1.3.6.1 Exhibit and Interview Guidelines • Check the 2015 Awards and Judging – Hub Logistics document for standard table size at your local hub. At regional championships, each team will be provided with a standard six-foot long table (approximately 29 inches wide) upon request. • An 8’ X 8’ X 8’ exhibit space will be allocated per team at your local hub and the regional championships.
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DR3290
I think that it would be a good thing if BEST removed the booth altogether. It is honestly pointless and only adds to the pressure for the team to get more things done. The BEST competition is a ROBOTICS competition, so it would only make sense for robotics related criteria to be judged.
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CircuitRunners Team 93
I really don't think so. Other robotics competitions have booths, but it does not factor into the scoring the same as it does with BEST. I think that the booth is an interesting element that adds to the idea of each BEST team being a company trying to win the bid. Companies have displays, so why not BEST teams? It is more pressure on the teams, and I can see how it would be very difficult if the team is very small. However, if a team has enough people for a couple of team members to make the booth their priority, it's not bad. It's also a place for team members who are less technically inclined and more creative to shine.
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Katniss
I really love the aspect of the Booth! In my team we have a subteam that works with the BEST award and the Booth is one of my favorite parts! And like CircuitRunners said it allows team members who are more on the creative side and not that great at technical stuff to have something to do that they like and are good at. I definitely don't think BEST should eliminate the booth at all! In my opinion the booth should get more attention.
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westwoodrobotics

@DR3290

That's exactly right! BEST is a robotics competition. Unfortunately, however, a lot of us forget that presentation is a big part of selling anything in robotics. If you don't know how to explain the functionality of the robot, or discuss why the robot is being created, you won't get the sale / funding.

Both the booth and marketing help us realize the importance of being in a team and how specialization helps improve productivity, as long as you have an understanding of all of the other components of the product.

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getgray
I'm OK with the booth and see that it adds value.  Students who don't have robot building or driving skills have an opportunity to participate.  And the scoring is reasonably objective (well, maybe that's a stretch, but it at least has some measurable criteria).  What I'd like to see go is spirit.  Kids would cheer anyway, so the atmosphere woudl not be affected.  The adults woudl not need to wear earplugs, everyone risk hearing damage, etc.  But most of all, this is a thing that is incredibly subjective, has no set judging timeline, is broad and unevenly applied.  The students have very little control over what the attending parents do, and 3 grumpy parents in the stands not cheering could have a huge negative impact on a team that has killed itself doing right by every other criteria.  This is about STEM, not cheerleading.  Toss it.  ASAP.

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bpiltin
My co-sponsor and I were actually discussing how much we like the fact that BEST encourages teams to model themselves after actual corporations and each team has to attempt to cover all aspects of product development as a "business", including marketing. Our team used to invest a lot of time and energy into the FRC competition, but we recently stopped competing because we felt it wasn't really inclusive enough. We have a very large team and its nice to see all of the students involved in some aspect of the competition. With FRC most of them would simply stand around and watch the others design and develop the robot. I don't think as much learning was taking place to be honest. Although FRC style competitions are great for those kids who are dead-set on studying mechanical/electrical engineering and computer science, the kids who may want to be part of the bigger picture of product development and marketing are largely left out of the equation. For these reasons I think BEST is an excellent educational model and is also pretty entertaining to participate in. 

Just a teacher's humble perspective.
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jmg
We joined BEST 11 years ago because it was intended to be low cost, high impact and it was that way for a few years. With the BEST Award, it has become increasingly difficult to keep it low cost. A good booth with handouts, some technology, and a gimmick to win points can easily cost over $1000. Add all the things you have to have in the spirit section to be seen in a low light environment on top of t-shirts, replacement robot parts, etc... and you add more to the cost. What was supposed to be low cost has now become over $2000 for one to two days of competition. The low cost factor is now gone if you really want to compete in BEST Award. Someone may argue otherwise, but 11 years experience and having won the BEST Award at the local and Regional level tell me otherwise. 
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