Program Impact


Our robotics program pairs high school students with extremely knowledgeable and experienced volunteer mentors to conceptualize, design, and fabricate a robot for entry into the FIRST Robotics Competition. The students in our program are exposed to real-world engineering challenges and gain significant knowledge about STEM topics which gives them a clearer direction and advantage in college and their careers. Over 90% of our program's graduates have gone on to attend college and earn their degree.


Michael David

"I have always enjoyed the art and challenge of designing things. But when I was young, I rarely had any significant guidance on how to brainstorm and achieve the best result for any given building task. This was not the case after joining the Beach Bots. This team, including both the mentors and students, taught me how to conceptually design, build, test, and perfect a given concept. The countless hours of using computer aided design programs, machining tools, and robot controls led me to fully understand what it takes to be an engineer. Now, I am on my way to get a degree in Mechanical Engineering. In my college classes I can fully understand the topics taught because of the enormous amounts of knowledge and time poured into me by the Beach Bots robotics team. Even though I am not done with college, I have already landed an internship at Northrop Grumman where I work with people, up to 3 times my age, researching, designing, and creating technology never built before! Being on the Beach Bots provided not only a high school robotics experience, but it showed me what to look forward to in the rest of my life."

Courtney Roberts


"In 2003, I joined the robotics team at Hope Chapel Academy. My teammates joined the team to engineer a robot; I joined the team to get a free trip to Disneyworld where the competition was held. Ironically, I never got a trip to Disneyworld because the competition was moved to the AstroDome in Houston that year. It didn’t matter, however, because that experience on the robotics team literally changed my life. Geometry, trigonometry, and physics no longer seemed pointless; they had applications! For the first time, I could see and touch the real-world applications of my classroom learning. That is when I fell in love with science. After spending five years on the robotics team, I attended Pepperdine University where I majored in chemistry and conducted research on new ways to make biodegradable plastic. Although, studying chemistry is different than engineering, being on the robotics team taught me how to think critically, work under pressure, and seek out practical applications to my classroom learning. In 2016, I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with my PhD in chemistry. While at UNC, I applied the same thought processes and critical thinking skills that I learned during robotics to discovering more efficient ways to make pharmaceutical molecules. Currently, I am working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan where I am conducting research on more environmentally friendly and sustainable methods to make biologically active molecules that can be used to cure diseases."

Ethan Chan

"The Beach Bots developed my critical thinking, expanded my technical skills, and gave me resources to exhibit my knowledge.  Starting in 2012, I was very shy and unsure of my direction.  The team's mentors colored my blank slate by teaching me problem solving, designing, machining, assembly, and many more facets of robotics.  I eventually found my footing in programming.  After seeing my code in action on the field, I now hope to be a programmer.  However, my time with the Beach Bots has been so much more than just robots.  I was given the opportunity to edit videos for the team's media, and was assisted in putting on summer robotics camps.  All of the skills I learned and used from the Beach Bots has given me a step ahead of my peers in college.  Because of the team, I am now confident in working with others and in the direction of my life."

Shane Palmerino

"I began my time with The Beach Bots in 2005 as a freshman in high school. I'd always had an interest in understanding how things worked and thought I'd pursue some degree in science or engineering. My experience on the team thoroughly cemented this decision for me and helped me realize that mechanical engineering was my calling. Through countless hours spent working with the engineers and mentors of The Beach Bots, I gained knowledge and experience in high school that my peers did not gain till their junior or senior years in college or well into their careers. I now work full-time at Raytheon where I find myself heavily engaged in design teams consisting of co-workers who are easily 10+ years older than me. There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be where I am today without the confidence, experience, and knowledge I gained through my time on The Beach Bots."


In addition to participation in the FIRST Robotics Competition, our team emphasizes service and outreach to the local community. Watch the video below to learn more.