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

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.

Indiana State Championships

On Friday, May 9th, WBI started a wonderful weekend of adventure, driving three hours up to South Bend, IN. That night, we stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Rhymer, the parents of one of our favourite mentors, AJ. They were amazingly welcoming, and were indeed quite happy to be hosting 20+ high school and college students. We got the full tour of the house, barn, and most impressively the garage. Their house was wonderful and impeccably decorated, but the garage takes the cake. As good robotics students do, we drooled over the engine testing equipment and gorgeous sports cars. Afterwards, we played outside and eventually got some well deserved sleep. Saturday started early with a delicious breakfast made by the Rhymers with help from our overly enthusiastic students. We got on the road early to get over to Elkhart in time for load in at the state competition. Our robot performed well throughout the day, and we were picked for the 6th seed alliance. Unfortunately we didn't break out of quarter finals, but we still managed to have a fabulous time cheering for our fellow teams. We wrapped up the weekend with a delicious dinner at a quaint Mexican restaurant on the way back to West Lafayette.

West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School

© Copyright Westside Boiler Invasion Team 461 2013-2014
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