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

Indianapolis District

This past weekend we attended the Indianapolis District! We had a wonderful time regardless of the terrible snow storm. On Saturday we introduced our rookie members to the wonderful world of FIRST competitions and had a blast cheering on our team and other Indiana teams. We saw many interesting robot designs and discussed their advantages. Sadly, on Sunday most of our team could not attend the competition due to the winter storm in the area. Regardless, we had a very successful day and almost made it to finals! We ended up in 3rd place overall and won the Engineering Inspiration Award. We would love to thank all of the volunteers that made this event possible and are very excited to attend our own district in two weeks.

Internet2 Technology Exchange Conference

On October 27th, we had the wonderful opportunity to attend the first ever Technology Exchange hosted by Internet2. We kicked off our day by presenting about STEM education and how FIRST influenced our future plans during one of their many seminars. Our students also had the opportunity to wander around and see all this technology that they were exchanging, and they had the chance to try out the Oculus Rift among many other interesting inventions. Afterwards, alongside other FIRST Teams from the state, we demonstrated our robot for a huge group of technology-based entrepreneurs. It was fun to interact with such knowledgeable people and teach them about the magic of FIRST.

West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School

© Copyright Westside Boiler Invasion Team 461 2013-2014
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