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 70+ students that participate in our programs each year.
One of the hallmarks of our programs is the variety of activities we run & participate in to help get young people excited about STEM. Our junior high & high school students collectively put in over 1200 hours each year out in our community & across the midwest helping Boy Scouts earn Robotics merit badges, letting younger students operate our robots, and connecting people with FIRST® teams and other STEM resources in their community.
FIRST® LEGO® League Discover introduces PreK through 1st grade students to STEM concepts through fun LEGO® DUPLO®-based building activities.
Run in collaboration with the West Lafayette Public Library, our 2nd-3rd grade FIRST® LEGO® League Explore students explore the fundamentals of science & engineering by learning about real-world problems & desiging creative solutions that students demonstrate by creating LEGO® models and a poster.
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.
We have 2 opportunities for parents to learn more about the program & learn how to get their kids signed up. We will also be looking for parents to volunteer to help coach teams!
We plan to have registration open on September 1st for teams to start meeting after Labor Day.
FIRST® 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. We currently run 2 teams for our 7th & 8th grade students, Westside Gold and Westside Black.
We'll be having a virtual callout & info session for parents & students on Zoom Wednesday, August 26th at 7PM! Email Peyton if you aren't able to make the call.
FIRST Robotics Competition (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. Students are tasked each year with designing, fabricating, and programming a 120lb, 3’x3’x5’ robot to go 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.
We'll be having a virtual callout & info session for parents & students on Zoom Tuesday, September 1st at 7PM! Email Brad if you aren't able to make the call.
The thing that really separates FIRST® from other STEM-focused after school activities is the focus on mentorship. By brigning in local STEM professionals, college students, and other experienced adults, we provide our students with meaningful relationships with these role-models who help them find their path in life & teach them the skills they need to get to where they're going. We also encourage our high school students to give back through mentoring our elementary & junior high teams.
We are currently actively seeking people with the following skills & expertise to join our team of mentors!
All of the events and competitions that our teams compete in are almost entirely volunteer-run! There are 250,000 people like you around the world working to support these events every year. Whether you have a few hours, a day or a weekend to help, have technical or non-technical expertise, there is an event volunteer role suited to your unique interest. There are events & competitions in the greater Lafayette area for all of our programs, and there's a place for you at all of them!
All together, it takes nearly $50,000 each year to keep all of our programs running. We rely on the generous contributions of local businesses, team alumni, and our families to generate those funds. Please consider donating to help build & maintain our programs!
461 Boosters FIRST, Inc. dba Westside Robotics retains tax-exempt status pursuant to the provisions of United States Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). Our tax identification number and copies of the IRS determination letter are available upon request. Please contact us using the button on the right for more information.