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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. 

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 traveling 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 9 years, and has won the following:

  • Woodie Flowers award for Grace Young (2022)
  • Innovation and Controls (2022)
  • Team Spirit Award (2019)
  • 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.


Jeannie Merritt

Jeannie Merritt is a reading specialist at Lawrence High School, who became our team coach many years ago. Team STEAM is forever grateful to have such a hard working coach, always ready to support us. She has always kept the team organized and enthusiastic, coming to our meetings every thursday. Without her, Team STEAM could not have participated and hosted all these events. 

Grace McMonagle

Grace Young has been a passionate advocate for FIRST robotics since 2012. She moved to Lawrence as a Self Graduate fellow, joining the Team STEAM mentors in 2018. She works diligently with the team’s marketing and creative departments revamping our sponsorship campaigns and team branding. Grace has helped organize and carry out the Girls in Tech Conference, with passion for increasing diverse gender representation within STEAM fields, evident in all of her services to the team and the community.

Fred Bellemere

Fred Bellemere joined the Team STEAM mentors in 2019. He is an invaluable mentor to our mechanical subteam in shop safety and industry practices throughout the design and fabrication of the team’s robots. Mr. Bellemere is the quiet, but essential, backbone of the team, ensuring students are well trained and prepared for future projects. 

Daniel Owen

Daniel Owen is the most recent member to join the Team STEAM mentors. He brings his expertise and insights both from the Self Graduate Fellowship and his time on FRC team 2022 to teach and advise our controls department. He works with our controls members to perfect our autonomous programs (where the robot performs without direction from a driver), as well as to solve complex programming issues such as utilizing vision systems with cameras.


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. 

Design – The design subteam provides a functional, strategic, and manufacturable design to mechanicals and controls. They use Onshape (a CAD software) to design our robot for competitions. 

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. As a member of this team, you would learn how to use power tools, 

Control Systems – The control systems subteam is responsible for writing all of the code for our robots, bringing our projects to life. We program in Java, as well as fine tuning the robots movement, and enabling out robot to execute complex objectives.

Marketing – Marketing focuses on expanding our team and increasing awareness to our community about robotics and Team STEAM.


Julie Kong (CEO): As the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of our team, Julie is the main face of our team. She facilitates co-leads throughout the school year. Our CEO works closely with our team coaches to manage events and direct the team throughout the year.

Peter Burdick (COO): The second chief officer is Chief Operations Officer (COO) Peter. He is one of the organizers of the team, who makes sure that our operation subteams have everything they need to be successful. Peter manages the communication with the other C officers and helps the CEO plan events.

Lois Xie (CMO): The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Lois helps expand knowledge of our team. She works consistently with the CEO and COO making sure that the public is aware of Team STEAM and robotics. Being in charge of the non-operations subteams (Marketing and Creative), Lois leads the communication with our sponsors, plans outreach events, and helps Creative expand their artistic abilities.

Richard Li (Creative Director): The Creative Director Richard Li is the head graphic designer of the team. He works closely with Marketing to lead Creative in creating logos, managing social media, making posters/flyers, and designing t-shirts. He teaches everyone our branding standards, and always thinks of ways to improve everyone’s artistry.

Zach Hansen-Terry (Controls Director): Teaching the robot to navigate our obstacles is our Controls Director Zach. He is the head of or programming subteam, working to increase the members knowledge of Java and programs the robot for our competitions. He communicates with COO, Mechanical lead, and Design lead to coordinate the same goals across all three subteams.

Brendan Hethcoat (Design Director): Being design director, Brendan leads the online designing of our robot. He works with the operations directors to create the best model possible for the robot used for competition. He teaches many members how to use Onshape, a CAD software, so design members are able to build and design the robot fully.

Hayden Mock & Sean Dixon (Mechanical Director): As the builder of the team our Mechanical Directors Hayden and Sean bring the robot to life. Spending most of their time in the workshop, they trains rookies and construct the robot after working on the design with Brendan. Both Sean and Hayden work hard to emphasize safety and the correct way to/navigate tools.

Liam Gill (Strategy Director): As strategy director, Liam is in charge of finding different solutions to the mission this year. He’s in charge of studying other teams, and reporting to Design to properly strategize the best robot possible. But the most important role of strategy director is to scout our potential alliances during competition.