Check presentation

From left to right: Nicole Carroll, assistant to NACC Workforce Development director; Sherry Whitten, director of the College and Career Planning Center; Jason Harper, manager of Valley Relations with TVA; Dr. Mike Kennamer, director of Workforce Development at NACC; Sheila Shepard, Jackson County EDA vice president; Deni Adkins, NACC engineering instructor and Dennis Lester, NACC ILT instructor.

Jason Harper, manager of Valley Relations for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) recently visited Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) to present a check in support of the BEST Robotics program.

BEST stands for Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology, and was originated in 1993 by two Texas Instruments engineers. Though Texas Instruments is still heavily involved in BEST, the program is now headquartered at Auburn University, in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and College of Sciences and Mathematics.

NACC operates Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics, an affiliate of BEST Robotics, Inc. There are 51 hubs across the United States, operating in three regions. 

“TVA is pleased to be involved in this important initiative to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiatives in this region,” said Harper.

This year’s challenge involves a space elevator. Teams have to design robots that will deliver various items to the top of a 10-foot tall tower.

Teams competing in this year’s event include DeKalb County Technology Center, Fort Payne High School, Fyffe High School, Ider High School, Marshall Technical School, North Jackson High School, North Sand Mountain High School, Pisgah High School. Scottsboro High School and Woodville High School.

The competition encompasses more than robot performance. Teams are judged on oral presentation, educational display, spirit, sportsmanship, interview skills, engineering notebook and robotic performance. The top two teams will advance to the regional competition in Auburn.

NACC serves as the lead agency for the hub. Other partner agencies include DeKalb County Economic Development Authority, Jackson County Economic Development Authority, Greater Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Impact Learning Center, Community Action Agency of Northeast Alabama and Alabama Technology Network.

“We are appreciative to TVA for helping us support this program,” said NACC President Dr. David Campbell. “We believe that Best Robotics completion is a great way to create more interest in STEM careers in our area. It is great to work with TVA to help accomplish this goal.”

For more information about BEST Robotics, contact Nicole Carroll at 256-638-4418 or 256-228-6001, ext. 2254. Additional information may also be found at the Northeast Alabama BEST Robotics website, located at For more information about NACC, go to or download the college’s free App at the Apple App Store or by going to

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