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First Executive Director of BEST Robotics, Inc., and co-founder of CoCo BEST, Ed Wheeler, Passes Away

Herman Edward Wheeler Jr

PITTSBURGH, PA, UNITED STATES, February 5, 2021 / -- The BEST Robotics Board, staff, teachers, and students convey our sympathies to the family of Ed Wheeler, the first Executive Director of BEST Robotics, Inc. Ed’s impact on students is profound and lives on in the BEST Robotics program which he helped found as a non-paid volunteer. Outsiders may look at BEST Robotics and think students learn only about robots or STEM concepts, but people who understand BEST at a deeper level see a nation-wide family providing important formative experiences to prepare young people for their futures.

Ed was instrumental in creating the BEST family experience and oversaw the incorporation of BEST Robotics, Inc., promoting the growth of the movement started by Ted Mahler and Steve Marum from Texas Instruments. For those of us in the BEST family, losing a special father figure and mentor is sad, but the memories and reality of what he helped create are deeply satisfying. We remember Ed fondly and wish peace to his traditional family.

Everyone who knew Ed had kind words about him:

“I have known Ed since the mid-70s. He has always been a forward-looking person, working toward a better future. A couple of decades further back in time, Ed watched a pair of engineers struggling to get a high school engineering program started and volunteered his organizational skills to get BEST through some serious growing pains in the first few years. BEST owes Ed a huge debt for his help during a time when we really needed it!”
- Steve Marum, Co-Founder, BEST Robotics

“Ed leaves an awesome legacy through the work he did teaching kids about the joys of math, science, and engineering through robotics. Ed set a high bar for what Tiers can do through giving and volunteering their time outside of work, and the impact he made is immeasurable through the lives of the kids he worked with.”
-Peter Balyta, VP, Texas Instruments

“Ed was instrumental to the BEST organization during the early years when BEST was desperately trying to organize itself and define its operations. He brought his incredible organizational skills to help steer a bunch of engineers on an incredible idea; no one else was interested in the management aspect that was needed badly.”
-Greg Young, Director of Operations, BEST Robotics

“He has always been a forward-looking person, working toward a better future for, well, everyone. He had a very positive outlook and always dove in headfirst with both feet on everything he set out to do. He was not really recruited into BEST; he heard about it, saw the passion, and felt that he could help.”
-Ted Mahler, Co-Founder, BEST Robotics

Herman Edward Wheeler, Jr. will be missed. Find out more about Ed here.


BEST Robotics Leadership

Michael Steiner
BEST Robotics Inc
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