Metro Homeschool Wins Frontier Trails BEST

Metro Homeschool of Blue Springs, Mo., was the overall winner of the 38-team Frontier Trails BEST regional robotics competition hosted by the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith.


The school won the BEST Award, as well as the Engineering Note Book Award and the BEST Marketing Presentation Award.


They were trailed closely by Oklahoma City Homeschool of Oklahoma City, Okla., who took home the biggest variety of awards including first place in the robot game. The team also won the BEST Team Exhibit and Interview Award, BEST Spirit and Sportsmanship Award, BEST T-shirt Award and the second place BEST Award.


Jason Merritt of Fort Smith, electronics technology instructor at UAFS and director of Frontier Trails BEST, said participation in the robotics competition exploded across the region.


“This was an excellent year for BEST robotics,” Merritt said. “We saw BEST participation explode throughout the region. Our limit is 36 teams for regionals, but we had to find a way to make room for two more teams due to overflow at the local hub levels.”


Other schools winning awards were:


  • Academy for Advanced and Creative Learning of Colorado Springs, Colo., won the first place BEST Founders Award.
  • Athens Bible of Athens, Ala., won the Simulink Design Award and the third place BEST Most Photogenic Robot Award.
  • Ambassadors for Christ of Bentonville, won the third place BEST Most Elegant Robot Award.
  • Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, of Hot Springs, won first place BEST Most Robust Award and BEST Most Photogenic Robot.
  • Byers Middle School, of Denver, Colo., won first place for the BEST Most Elegant Robot and third place in the robot competition.
  • St. Vrain Valley Schools Innovation Center of Longmont, Colo., won the second place BEST Web Page Award.
  • Johnson Country Home-School of Olathe, Kan., won the third place BEST T-shirt Award.
  • Lawton Academy of Arts and Sciences ofLawton, Okla., won the first place Web Page Award.
  • Little Rock Central High School of Little Rock won the third place Most Robust Award.
  • Manzanola Junior and Senior High School of Manzanola, Colo., won the second place BEST T-shirt Award.
  • Philadelphia Christian Academy of Lafayette, La., won the third place BEST Award and fourth place in the robot competition.
  • Poyen High School of Poyen won the second place BEST Founders Award.
  • Ramay Junior High of Fayetteville won the third place BEST Founders Award.
  • Rose Hill High School of Rose Hill, Kan., won the second place Most Photogenic Robot.
  • Valley Springs High School of Valley Springs, won the second place Most Robust Award.
  • Wichita Home-School of Wichita, Kan., placed second in the robot competition and the BEST Elegant Robot Award, third place in the BEST Web Page Award and fourth place IGUS BEST Award.


About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith


The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Through a small campus, dedicated professors, and the university’s unique bond with its community, students at UAFS are able to do more in the areas they are passionate about, both on- and off-campus, in a way that prepares them for post-graduate success. To find out how you can do more at UAFS, visit


Amy Lloyd, University Relations Coordinator
Date Posted: 
Friday, December 9, 2016
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