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Boys & Girls Club Robotics Team STEAMRollers To Travel to World's Competition
Updated April 26, 2016 6:39 AM
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(BEDFORD) - The crowd was screaming, teams were scrambling to put final touches on their machines, and amazing talent was shown.

Last week, Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County's 6012 STEAMRollers battled in Kokomo at the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Indiana State Championship.

They earned the Rookie All-Star and Rookie Highest Seed awards. The "Rookie All Star" award qualified them to compete at the "FIRST Championship", often referred to as Worlds.

The STEAMRollers will be one of 599 teams competing from 23 different countries at the World Championship in St. Louis, April 28-30.

In addition, all FRC team members are eligible to compete for a share of more than $23 million in college scholarship funds.

Team members:

  • Charlotte Donkersloot
  • Charlieann Peters
  • Bode Swango
  • Trey Moore
  • Ryan Eichem
  • Thomas Carroll
  • Max Davy
  • John Hamilton
  • Nate Plew
  • Wilson Gaither
  • Stephen Arnold
  • Payton Fortner


  • Tony Brazzell
  • Scott Baker
  • Dennis Moore
  • Tony Peters
  • Tim Eichem
  • William Terry
  • Mark Pate
  • Scott Henderson
  • Kelsie Henderson

Adult Volunteers:

  • Larry Arnold
  • John Hamilton
  • Greg Fedricks

Youth team support:

  • Thomas Gaither
  • Joseph Brazzell

At the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County, Robotics is open to members at the Limestone Unit and Thornton Teen Center, including youth of all ages in this opportunity to build Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math (STEAM) skills and compete on a world-wide level.

A successful team requires many different team members with a variety of skills. A short list of what is involved, taken from the FIRST website. As FIRST states "It's more than Robots".

  • Math (algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus)
  • Science (physics, chemistry, experimentation)
  • Language arts (writing, public speaking)
  • Business (marketing, PR, fundraising)
  • Finance (accounting)
  • Computer Science (programming, CAD, 3D animation)
  • Fabrication (woodworking, metalworking)
  • Mentorship: Working side-by-side with professionals
  • Teamwork
  • Gracious Professionalism®
  • Coopertition®

During the competitions a series of judges will meet with the team members, with the coaches excluded from the team conversations, so that they can ask questions and evaluate responses, in essence "Public Speaking".

At all of our competitions this season including the "State Championship" we have received exceptional feedback regarding our team and approach.

The team has a partnership with Limestone Robotics to provide mentors and curriculum for our Robotics team. In addition to the STEAMRollers, Limestone Robotics also provides mentors and coaches for FIRST Technical Challenge (FTC), FIRST LEGO League (FLL), and Jr. FLL teams in Lawrence County. These programs offer robotics opportunities for children from kindergarten through high school.

Our team has been very successful as a "Rookie". We have young men and women from Lawrence and surrounding counties participating and succeeding.

With every challenge that they have faced as a team this season, they have developed and implemented a solution and reaped the rewards.

This is the 13th time in Boys & Girls Club has had a team qualified for Worlds, and a first for the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

For more information about other Robotics programs please email

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