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 70+ 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
Program Manager
Steve Florence
Founding Mentor
Peyton Yeung
Senior Engineering Mentor
Chris Woodard
Jr/Sr High School Teacher Sponsor

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.

Team Leadership

Brad Thompson
Team Coordinator & Advisor
Steve Florence
Team Advisor

Join the Team

The FLL program only runs in the fall. Check back after school starts in August!

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
Brad Thompson
Operations, Software, & Media
Kevin Wobschall
Engineering & Software
Steve Florence
Manufacturing & Facilities
Chris Woodard
School Activities & Recruiting

Join the Team

If you missed the call-out meeting, check out the slides here and send Peyton an email & he'll let you know what's going on.

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 Co-Lead, Software, Media, & Operations
Steve Florence
Team Co-Lead, Manufacturing & Facilities
Peyton Yeung
Strategy & Design
Ryne Strzelecki
Design & Manufacturing
Monica Bravo
Outreach & Awards
Betsy Baxter
Media & Awards
Chris Woodard
School Activities & Recruiting

Join the Team

If you missed the call-out meeting, check out the slides here and send Brad an email & he'll let you know what's going on.


Strategic Partners

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

Gold Sponsors

Gene Haas Foundation

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
Mel Wobschall
Vice President
Elliot Slamovich
Brad Thompson
Executive Director

Volunteer as a Mentor

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

The thing that really separates FIRSTĀ® 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 seeking people with the following skills & expertise to join our team of mentors!

  • FIRST LEGO League Coaches We rely heavily on parents and other members of the community to help coach our 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.