Woodie Flowers Nominee

The Woodie Flowers Award, named in honor of FIRST’s co-creator, is presented to an outstanding FIRST mentor every year. BEAST students chose a deserving mentor and crafted an essay to submit for this student-driven award. The students are proud to announce that Derek Laufenberg (Mr. L) is our team’s 2023 nominee!

Mr. L is a hard-core programmer who uses a mini-PC strapped to his 27” monitor instead of a laptop, and he brings his passion for code to 2202’s preseason. His effective weekly preseason programming lessons, described as “a godsend” by student Noah, bring people that have never written “Hello, World!” to mapping subsystems with UML and writing decorated parallel commands by Kickoff. This allows everyone on the Software Team to contribute during Build Season!

As a part-time systems engineer of 23 years, Mr. L facilitates communication between sub-teams during build season, from motor CAN IDs to who gets the robot. An MIT graduate (B.S., S.M. in Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical Engineering) who wears shirts printed with calculus jokes, Mr. L loves working with students to cover whiteboards with equations. Without Mr. L, our team would be less knowledgeable, less cohesive, and less successful. We are grateful for all Mr. L. has done for BEAST. We wish him luck as he competes for this prestigious award at the Wisconsin Regional!

Derek Laufenberg with members of the Programming Team

Sussex Scrimmage

It’s been an eventful Build Season as we race to have our robot ready for the Sussex Scrimmage on Sunday, February 19. The event is free and open to the public, so we hope to see you there! The teams will compete from noon to 5 p.m. at Sussex-Hamilton High School. The Sussex Scrimmage is a great opportunity to test our robot before the official FIRST Robotics Competition events begin. At the scrimmage, we’re able to meet with other Wisconsin teams, check out their robots, share ideas, and troubleshoot.


Recruiting 2024 BEAST-MATES

BEAST recently participated in Brookfield East’s Freshman Information Night and Brookfield Central’s 8th Grade Welcome Night. Students set up an informational display, spoke with interested families, demonstrated our robot, and collected the contact information of next year’s potential new teammates. 


FIRST Wisconsin Advocacy Day

On February 8th, four BEAST students and two Mentors traveled to Madison to participate in the first in-person state advocacy day! Teams from around the state gathered to learn how to speak with legislators to promote FIRST and STEM. Later that day, participants had the opportunity to meet with politicians at the Capitol. Our team was grateful to meet with Representative Tom Michalski and staff members of Representative Adam Neylon and Senator Rob Hutton. 

Working hard to get our robot ready for the Sussex Scrimmage

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What’s New in the Shop

Thanks to contributions from our sponsors, the team purchased a new battery charging station. The old station charged six batteries and served us well for a number of years. We had trouble getting replacement parts so we will use it for practice batteries. The new station charges eight batteries at a time and provides diagnostics on the batteries. The team changes the robot battery before every match, so being able to efficiently charge a suite of batteries is critical to a team’s success during competition.

Members of the Electrical Team with the new battery charging station

Mark Your Calendars

St. Louis Regional (St. Louis, MO)

Wednesday, March 8 – Saturday, March 11


Wisconsin Regional (Milwaukee)

Wednesday, March 22 – Saturday, March 25


World Championship (Houston, TX)

Wednesday, April 19 – Saturday, April 22