Who are we?

We are high school FIRST Robotics team 461 from West Lafayette, Indiana who are passionate about science and technology. Since 1999, technology teacher Steve Florence has encouraged students to pursue their interests in science, engineering, and technology. By working together to accomplish tasks in such fields as technology and public relations, we excite other students and the community about the values of FIRST.


In the words of founder Dean Kamen, FIRST was created to

…transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes.

The mission of FIRST is to engage young people in science and technology and inspire them to pursue a career in engineering. Students are able to experience the excitement of the robot competitions while working together to acheive their goals. Through mentoring and teamwork, students can enhance their technology skills, as well as building self-confidence and leadership, while making many new friends along the way.

FIRST organizes several robotics competitions to get students involved in robotics through a fun game. The major competition is the FIRST Robotics Competition, in which students build robots to play a given game on a human-sized field. FIRST also organizes the FIRST Tech Challenge, a game similar to FRC but smaller, and the FIRST LEGO League, a game where teams build robots out of LEGOs to accomplish certain tasks.

We do more than build robots.

Much more, in fact. FIRST team 461's influence can be seen in the local community through our mentoring of several FLL teams, our summer camps, FRC at the library and schools, and in our adopt-a-spot. At the state level we participate in the State Fair and we have helped over 1000 Boy Scouts receive a Robotics Merit Badge. Our influence can be seen as far as El Salvador, where we have sent Lego kits and have helped start an FLL team.

We wouldn't exist…

…if it weren't for the generosity of the individuals and businesses who sponsor our program. If you would like to sponsor our team, please see the Support Us page.

Latest Blog Posts

Celebrate Science Outreach Day

On October 4th, the members of the 461 robotics team went to the Celebrate the Sciences day at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Throughout the day we had a table set up telling passers by about the endeavors of the 461 robotics team. There was a scrapbook with pictures from past competitions and teams, and there were pins and stickers and bracelets for people to take. At the competition there was Kate French, Monica Bravo, Nick Gamarra, Mick Jenkins, and Benjamin Lincourt. These members displayed the robot from the 2014 competition along with three other teams from around Indiana. Although there were many times the robot experienced difficulties, we still allowed the children at the Celebrate the Sciences festival to drive and operate the robot. As the day drew to a close we found ourselves tired, but quite content with the outcome and the delightful success that was the Celebrate The Sciences festival.

The Social Media

As of 10:37 this morning our team got an Instagram. So here is the story: Here we all are sitting during our summer camps (we still are, but we were then too.) when Cade jokingly suggested that our team get an Instagram. What did Sam do? Download Instagram on my phone. So long story short: WE HAVE AN INSTAGRAM! But I don't know how to use it.

West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School

© Copyright Westside Boiler Invasion Team 461 2013-2014
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