The Brookfield Robotics Team launches the FIRST Tech Challenge into action


Chandra Chouhan

Max Milkert (BC ‘18) concentrating on building the BEAST prototyoe robot for their upocoming competitions.

This year, the Brookfield Central and Brookfield East robotics team (BEAST) is far from rusty. So far, the robotics program started a FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team named Hazmat. FTC is a high school robotics program under the larger organization of FIRST that increases students STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills through competitive challenges in the areas of engineering and business. Students have the opportunity work alongside professionals to learn real world engineering skills by building and programming a robot.

The team has to sustain itself by raising funds and spreading awareness about STEM and FIRST throughout the community. They are required to encourage students to join or create their own teams as well with outstanding business skills. At tournaments, teams are judged on the quality of their robot and business plan as they compete with their robot in a sports like setting. “I can’t wait to get involved with all aspects of the robot and the experience of learning a lot of new skills that I will need in the future”, said Gabe Nummerdor (BC ‘20), as he shared his excitement for this upcoming season.

The robotics team is currently preparing for their first competition, which will take place in the first week of January. From here, they have the opportunity to qualify for the state competition if they perform well enough. This BEAST robotics team consists of 15 students, 4 student mentors, and 3 adult coaches. The four student mentors are: Chandra Chouhan (BC ‘19), Pranav Shashidhar (BC ‘18), Daniel Anderson (BC ‘18), and Amber Rothe (BE ‘19). The team’s coaches are Mike Ulschmid, Trevor Deacon, and Peter Stillmank. “Starting this team has been a highly rewarding experience”, stated Pranav Shashidhar. “Having been in robotics since third grade, it means a lot to be able to give back to the program. I’m really looking forward to this competition season because we have so many incredible team members, and I can’t wait to create incredible things with them.”