Robotics program in need of donations

A new technology program for local middle and high schools is forming, but is in need of donations.Texas State Technical College (TSTC) West Texas in Sweetwater will be hosting a robotics competition called BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) Robotics for six weeks this fall. The goal is to start a new competition center in Sweetwater for the Big Country, but not without the help of community support, contributions and sponsorships."We cannot provide this life-changing program without support from companies and help [BEST] purchase the equipment and materials needed to run the competition," said Terry Blankenship, Director of the Big Country extension of BEST. In addition, the donations are tax-deductible.Blankenship understands the impact technology makes in the world, but also in the community itself. "[The] local economy counts on having a workforce that understands technology and how to apply it."She believes that the implementation of BEST will not only benefit Sweetwater, but the futures of the students who will take part in the program.Six sponsorships levels are available from BEST: BEST Friend ($500 or less), Bronze ($500-$1,249), Silver ($1,250-$2,499), Gold ($2,500-$4,999), Platinum ($5,000-$14,999), and Corporate ($15,000 or more). The lowest four sponsorships levels will receive recognition in the event program and on the website in both local and regional competition. The Gold level, however, will also receive recognition during the event.The top two BEST sponsorship levels also gain promotion opportunities on programs, event signs, and the website. An appreciation plaque in the local hub and a special award named after the company in the regional championship are perks for being a Platinum sponsor.Gold sponsors will be recognized in various publicity efforts in the display of banners, event t-shirts, press releases and will take part in the awards ceremony, along with all the other incentives of being a BEST sponsor.The BEST program strives to "engage, excite and inspire students" in working toward careers in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Competitions are held in 15 states in over 850 schools with 12,500-plus students involved. In its eighteenth year, BEST has impacted tens of thousands of students through the program.For more information on the BEST program, visit For local information, contact Blankenship at the Sweetwater TSTC campus, or by calling 325-235-7446 or emailing her at