photo collage of elementary, middle, and high school students working on robots

Westside Robotics

Westside Robotics logo

Westside Robotics is the supporting organization for all of the FIRST Robotics programs within the West Lafayette Community School Corporation. For more than 2 decades, we've provided hands-on, mentor-guided experiences for the 140+ students that participate in our programs each year.

We meet at the old Happy Hollow school building, located at 1200 N Salisbury Street, West Lafayette IN 47906. Door #7, around the back of the building, is our main entrance. For larger events we will also open door #9, which is closer to the Kingston Dr. drop off drive.

Program Leadership

Brad Thompson
Executive Director & Senior Software Mentor
Peyton Yeung
Senior Engineering Mentor
Betsy Baxter
Senior Community Engagement Mentor
Monica Hochstein
Senior Community Engagement Mentor
Evan Hochstein
Senior Engineering Mentor
Ryne Strzelecki
Senior Engineering Mentor
Daniel Bravo
Senior Software Mentor
Kevin Wobschall
Board President & Senior Engineering Mentor
Steve Florence
Founder & Senior Engineering Mentor Emeritus

Learn More about FIRST

FIRST is the international organization that sets the rules for our teams & competitions.

FIRST Indiana Robotics is our local affiliate that runs our events & helps support teams.

Follow Us on Social Media

Robotics Development Phenomenon
FIRST LEGO League Challenge Teams

students placing a LEGO robot on the playing field a group of happy students with medals and a trophy
The FIRST LEGO League Challenge program challenges 4th-6th grade students to build and program small, autonomous Lego robots to complete tasks and overcome obstacles on a 4'x8' game board, research solutions to real-world problems with experts from their community, and learn what it means to work together as a team.

Program Leadership

Brad Thompson
Team Coordinator & Advisor
Melissa Prochnau
FLL Administrator
Get in touch with us at

Join the Team

FLL is done for this year!

Learn More about FLL

Westside Gold, Black, Red, and Grey
FIRST Tech Challenge Teams

two groups of students posing with medals, trophies, and their robots a student cutting a piece of plastic on a band saw while another student watches
Our junior high FIRSTĀ® Tech Challenge teams spend their season designing, building, and programming 18" x 18" x 18" robots to compete on a 12' X 12' field in an alliance format against other teams. The teams also document their discoveries & process in an Engineering Notebook, which along with a presentation, can earn teams awards at competitions.

Team Leadership

Peyton Yeung
Team Lead, Engineering & Design
Kevin Wobschall
Engineering & Software
Get in touch with us at

Join the Team

Our competition season is well underway and we are not accepting new members at this time. Check back in at the end of the school year so you can get started over the summer!

Learn More about FTC

Westside Boiler Invasion
FIRST Robotics Competition Team

a group of students posing with medals, trophies, and a large blue banner celebrating winning an event our robot driving around the field
FRC Team 461, Westside Boiler Invasion, is our flagship program that provides real-world technology, engineering, programming, design, media, marketing, and outreach experience to West Lafayette High School students. Our team members are tasked each year with designing, fabricating, and programming a 120lb, 3'x3'x5' robot to compete with other robots in a collaborative competition environment. In addition to the competition on the field, teams compete for awards in a variety of areas, including team spirit, mechanical design, control systems and autonomous robot behavior, and community engagement & educational efforts.

Team Leadership

Brad Thompson
Team Lead, Software, Media, & Operations
Evan Hochstein
Engineering & Business
Get in touch with us at

Join the Team

Our competition season is well underway and we are not accepting new members at this time. Check back in at the end of the school year so you can get started over the summer!


Strategic Partners

West Lafayette Community School Corporation
Caterpillar Foundation
Purdue FIRST Programs
C&C Diverse Integrations
Westside Robotics Families & Alumni
Sledgehammer Infosystems

Gold Sponsors

Gene Haas Foundation
Summit Financial Group
Radian Research

Silver Sponsors

Oscar Winski
Colors, Inc
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Support our Program

We rely on the generosity of individuals & businesses in our community to run our programs, and we want to recognize everyone who contributes to making what we do possible.

  • Strategic Partners
    (significant, long-term, and/or cross-program financial, in-kind, and/or mentorship support)
    • Logo on team apparel, marketing materials, & robots
    • Promotion on website & social media
  • Gold Sponsor
    ($1,000 & above)
    • Logo on donor shirt & robot
    • Promotion on website & social media
  • Silver Sponsor
    ($500 & above)
    • Logo on donor shirt
    • Promotion on website

Contact Brad Thompson to learn more about getting involved!

Donate Now

Booster Club

461 Boosters FIRST, Inc. is the 501(c)(3) corporation that manages the funds that support all of the Westside Robotics Programs. The group mostly consists of parents of current students, program leadership, and alumni.

Get Involved

We are currently seeking people with the following skills & expertise to join our team!

  • Program Finance & Donor Stewardship Support As our organization has grown, we're approaching the point where we're making enough money that our IRS reporting requirements get a little more complex. We could also really benefit from someone with donor stewardship, sponsor engagement, and grant writing experience to help our leadership team & high school students work to ensure that we have the resources we need to maintain & grow our programs.

Officers & Leadership

Kevin Wobschall
Derrick Dilts
Vice President
Rao Fu
Brad Thompson
Executive Director


a mentor showing a pair of students how to use a tool a mentor sitting on a platform talking to a large group of students

Getting involved with our program in any of these roles is a great way to give back to your community. For parents with students involved in our programs, these roles also come with fee/team dues reductions.

Team Support Roles

  • FIRST LEGO League Coaches We rely heavily on parents and other members of the community to help coach our elementary FLL Challenge teams. No great deal of technical expertise is needed (although it is appreciated!), the job is really more about keeping the students focused and moving in the right direction, and FIRST provides guidebooks & materials to walk you through the season. You won't have to go it alone either - we'll pair you with another coach or two, and we'll also have people around to provide technical support. The teams typically meet for about 3 hours a week for approximately 10 weeks during the fall. Reach out to Brad if you're interested in helping to coach a team.
  • FIRST Tech Challenge Mentors & Aides Our FIRST Tech Challenge teams really benefit from some additional adult support. Whether you're able to serve as a mentor & share your mechanical, electrical, software, media, or presentation skills that our team members need, or you can just come hang out with a small group of junior high students and help them stay on task & work together effectively, we need your support! Our FTC teams meet twice a week for most of the year, starting in the summer & going until the end of our competitions in January or February. Additional support is especially important during the summer & early fall when we meet as one big group instead of in multiple smaller teams. Reach out to Peyton if you're interested in helping to support our FTC program.
  • FIRST Robotics Competition Mentors Our high school students are a lot more self-sufficient, but still get a lot out of learning from mentors with specialized skills. Reach out to Brad if you're interested in helping to support our FRC program.

Administrative Support

  • Fundraising Assistant(s) We're looking for a person or two to help with some of the detail work for our fundraising activities & provide some occasional support to our high school FRC students that work on grant writing & fundraising projects.
  • Got Something Else In Mind? If you've got other talents you think we could benefit from, please reach out and let us know!

Contact Brad if you're interested in any of these roles.