About

Who are We?

Team STEAM Robotics is an all-area high school robotics team based in Lawrence, Kansas. We are a group of driven high school students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math – hence the name Team STEAM! We participate in FIRST Robotics Competition and assist with FIRST LEGO League and VEX Robotics. While working on the team, members gain practical engineering, design, and programming skills as well as develop important traits such as cooperation and leadership. 

We average about fifty members every year and along with attending local FRC competitions, we host summer camps for middle schoolers, an FLL scrimmage, and a FIRST LEGO League tournament. We have also done several workshops with the Lawrence Public Library and local middle schools, as well as travelling for sponsorship presentations on a frequent basis. You may also know us as the hosts of the Kansas Cup!

Our team has been around for 7 years, and has won the following:

  • Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation (2018)
  • Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (2017)
  • Highest Rookie Seed Award (2014)

Through real-world work experience, we aim to assist students and mentors of all FIRST™ teams in growing science and technology through promoting skills in business, engineering, computer science, design, and management.

Mentors

Jeannie Merritt

Jeannie is our head coach. She is a reading specialist at Lawrence High School who became a team mentor two years ago. She is in charge of keeping everyone organized and enthusiastic.

Tom Walton

Tom has mentored various FIRST teams, including FLL and FRC, for six years. He currently works in technology management at Epiq, and has a passion for robotics and FIRST. He also coaches and organized the VEX team.

Cindy Maude

Cindy is a mentor for our marketing subteam. Cindy has served as the CEO of Callahan, a local marketing firm, and as the interim CEO of the Lawrence Arts Center; additionally, she is a member of the Board of Directors at the Art Center. She is knowledgeable in marketing and business around Lawrence. 

Grace McMonagle

Grace is a marketing mentor and a graduate student in mathematics at the University of Kansas. She has been a FIRST participant for eight years, making her our go-to for all things FIRST related. She also coaches and organized the FIRST LEGO League teams.

K.C. Kong

K.C. is a mentor for the marketing subteam. This is his first year with Team STEAM, but he has worked with FIRST for four years. He works for the University of Kansas in the Physics and Astronomy Department.

Troy Landers

Troy is a mentor for the Control Systems subteam. This year is his fourth with Team STEAM, however, he has worked with FIRST for six years. He runs Landers Consulting Firm.

Chris Ralston

Chris is starting his first year as a mentor for the creative and marketing subteams. He is currently the Senior Art Director at Callahan and is an alumnus of the University of Kansas.

John Bigler

John is a mentor for the control systems and design subteams and is beginning his seventh year with Team STEAM. He leads the innovation team at Bartlett & West and is CEO of Cymek. 

Ross Jones

Ross has been a mentor for the mechanical subteam for three years, bringing his expertise as a retired machinist to Team STEAM.

Leadership

Malcolm Maude

Malcolm Maude is our CEO. Last year, they were our Programming and Robot Design Lead and our competition robot driver. This is their fourth year on the team. Malcolm is heavily involved in the FIRST community outside of our team, and volunteers at both FLL and FRC competitions.

Rheanne Walton

Rheanne Walton is our COO for the second year in a row. Her job is to ensure that our technical subteams run smoothly and on schedule. In her sophomore year, she was our CEO, and in her freshman year, she was the Director of Sponsorships. Additionally, she was our Drive Team Coach for two years.

Ashton Weeks

Ashton Weeks is our CMO. Her job is to ensure that our marketing subteam reaches our team’s budget and maintains relationships with our sponsors. Ashton has worked in Marketing for two years, and last year served as the CPO. She was Drive Team Coach her freshman year and presented for the Chairman’s Award in 2019.

Ryan Roberts

Ryan Roberts is our CPO. He is in charge of human resources and training. Last year he worked in Marketing, and before that, in Control Systems for two years. He is now in charge of team communications. Additionally, he presented for the Chairman’s Award in 2019.

Charlie Nigro

Charlie Nigro is our Project Management Director. This year is his fourth year on the mechanical team. He was the Drive Team Technician last year.

Elaine Landers

Elaine Landers is our Mechanical Director, this is her second year managing the mechanical department, and her fourth year on the mechanical team. At regionals Elaine was the safety captain for the team.

Avery Wilcoxson

Avery Wilcoxson has worked in the control systems subteam for two years and is now our Design Director. He also competed in the F4 network cadathon and has designed previous robots.

Liam McKinney

Liam McKinney is our Control Systems Director. He has been on Controls for three years and has led several important projects including autonomous systems, and advanced machine vision technologies.

Cole Huang

Cole is our Creative Director. He has been on the team for three years, all of which have been spent as a Creative subteam member.

Charlie Johnson

Charlie Johnson is our Non-Robot Operations Director. He also serves as the primary finance coordinator and held the role of CFO for two years. Before that, he was a member of the mechanical subteam.

Subteams

Marketing 

The marketing subteam is responsible for team fundraising, seeing that all marketing materials are up-to-date and available. The Marketing Subteam also oversees community outreach.

Creative 

The creative subteam is responsible for the production of all web, print, and digital marketing material, managing content strategy for all projects, and enforcing brand guidelines across the entire team.

Personnel 

The personnel subteam is responsible for recruiting and training of all new and existing team members, helping the other subteams organize their members, and working to improve team culture.

Design 

The design subteam, our first technical subteam, is responsible for providing a functional, strategic, and manufacturable design to the mechanical and control systems subteams.

Mechanical 

The mechanical subteam is responsible for building the robot from the ground up, manufacturing, assembling, and wiring the plans provided by the design team.

Control Systems 

The control systems subteam is responsible for writing all of the code for our robots, bringing our projects to life,