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NW-SCC BEST Robotics students provide birdhouses for nursing home

Northwest Alabama BEST Robotics student Logan Sledge had an idea to do something special this summer for the residents of Burns Nursing and Rehab in Russellville, and Northwest-Shoals Community College math instructor and BEST Robotics co-hub director Kim Sheppard said she was excited to encourage and help.

“We always focus on being environmentally responsible with the materials and supplies for every BEST Robotics competition,” said Sheppard. “I always encourage our students to think of ideas for us to repurpose any materials that were used to benefit our community.”

Sledge, a student at Covenant Christian School, had the idea to transform the houses that were used in the 2019 BEST Robotics game day competition into birdhouses for nursing home residents.

After drilling holes in each house and placing a floor on them, the birdhouses were ready to be distributed to residents.

Eleven birdhouses were delivered to Burns Nursing and Rehab in Russellville this past week. Residents were given the opportunity to paint the house before they were displayed outside the facility.

Sledge said this project was a way to give back.

“I wanted to recycle the birdhouses because I wanted to give back to the people that came before us,” said Sledge. “I wanted them to be able to have a good time with the houses like we did, just in a different way.”

According to NW-SCC, Burns Nursing and Rehab was an easy choice for the birdhouses since Sledge’s mother, Anna, works there as the clinical educator/infection preventionist.

The BEST Robotics season will kick off again Sept. 25 on the NW-SCC Shoals campus with the unveiling of the theme for this year’s competition, Demo Daze 2021.

This year’s competition is focused on construction safety and demolition in an environmentally-safe way. Approximately 20 teams are expected to compete from schools across Northwest Alabama and Southcentral Tennessee.

Northwest Alabama BEST Robotics is a workforce development partnership between the Shoals Chamber of Commerce and Northwest-Shoals Community College. Each fall, approximately 850 middle and high schools and more than 18,000 students participate in the competition nationwide.

Teachers may register their teams at

For more information about the NW-SCC, visit