FIRST Robotics Competitions

FIRST Robotics Logo

FRC Seasons

2016 - Kick-off & District Event

2016 Season – Stronghold

Kick-off: January 9, 2016
LSSU Campus – Walker Cisler CenterFIRST Stronghold

Welcome to this year’s rookies: #5878 the Great Lakers from Mackinac Island, and our veterans: #1596 Sault Ste. Marie Instigators, #4392 Brimley Deceivers, #4988 Les Cheneaux Yooper Troopers, #4995 Whitefish Rockets, #5072 DeTour Raider Robotics, #5175 Pickford Robo Panthers, #5183 Gaylord Devil Bots, #5213 LaSalle SHIELD, #5706 Tahquamenon Phenomenon, #5709 Rudyard Nerf Herders, and #5714 Bay Mills Ojibwe Bots.

  • 8 am Registration & Breakfast, Superior Room
  • 9 am Workshops: CREO, LabView, Wiring, 3D printer demo by #1596
  • 10:30 am Game Reveal in Laker Cinema, Peacock Cove
  • 11 am Kit Distribution & Field Elements on display: conference rooms

District Event: March 31-April 2
LSSU Campus – Norris Center

We are excited to host our inaugural district event and welcome teams from all across Michigan, coming from as far south as Dundee, New Boston and Marine City, and the across Western U.P. from Menominee.

Information for teams is in progress and can be seen at FIRST in Michigan’s website
Volunteers are still needed. To register with FIRST, visit the FIRST Volunteer Information Portal:

2015 - Kick-off

2015 Season – Recycle Rush

Kick-off: January 3, 2015
LSSU Campus – Walker Cisler CenterFRC Recycle Rush

Welcome to our rookies: #5183 Gaylord Devil Bots, #5692 Cheboygan Chiefs, #5706 Tahquamenon Bears, #5709 Rudyard Bulldogs, and #5714 Bay Mills Ojibwe Bots; and to our returning veterans #1596 Sault Ste. Marie Instigators, #4392 Brimley Deceivers, #4988 Les Chenaux Yooper Troopers, #5072 DeTour Raider Robotics, #5175 Pickford Robo Panthers, and #5213 LaSalle SHIELD

  • 8 am Registration & Breakfast, Superior Room
  • 9 am Workshops: LabView, Mentorship and Strategy
  • 10:30 am Game Reveal in Laker Cinema, Peacock Cove
  • 11 am Kit Distribution

2014 - Kick-off

2014 Season – Aerial Alliance

2014 FRC challenge logo: Aerial Assist

Welcome to our veterans:

  • #1596 Sault Ste. Marie
  • #4392 Brimley

Congratulations to our rookies as they begin their FRC journey:

  • #4988 Les Cheneaux
  • #5072 DeTour
  • #5175 Pickford
  • #5213 St. Ignace

FRC Kick-Off: January 4, 2014

LSSU Campus – Walker Cisler Center

  • Registration and Breakfast in the Crow’s Nest, 8 am
  • Workshops, first floor conference rooms. Rotate every 20 minutes. Tours of LSSU robotics lab and robot demos by #1596 Instigators ongoing. 9-10:10 am
  • Season Launch Broadcast: Laker Cinema in Peacock Cove, 10:30 am
  • KOP Distribution: 11 am until done.

Best of luck during the 2014 Season!

2013 - news

2013 Season – Ultimate Ascent

FRC Ultimate Ascent Challenge logoMatches were played between two Alliances of three teams each. Each Alliance competes by trying to score as many discs into their goals as possible during the two (2)-minute and 15-second match. Discs scored in higher goals score Alliances more points. Matches end with robots attempting to climb up pyramids located near the middle of the field.
Instigators team visits Soo Middle School The Instigators, Team 1596 from Sault Area High School, represented by Jon Savoie and Ryan Dettloff, brought “Gunner” to the Sault Area Middle School Talent Show. The robot is designed to fling Frisbees through the air. (photo by Mike McKee/The Evening News)

Congratulations Team 1596 Instigators for receiving the Quality Award sponsored by Motorola in Traverse City!

The Deceivers, Team 4392 from Brimley High School

Congratulations on being finalists at the Traverse City competition!

2012 - news

2012 Season – Rebound Rumble

Check out the team on Facebook group page “Team 1596-The Instigators” for photos from this year’s tournament on March 12th in Traverse City.
Congratulations also go out to Team 4392 – the rookie crew from Brimley!

Team Information
FIRST Robotics Competition logo

FRC Rebound Rumble logo

FRc Team #1596 logoThe Sault area FIRST Robotics Competition team #1596, the Instigators, is one of 150 teams throughout Michigan participating in the 2012 challenge: Rebound Rumble. Other Upper Peninsula teams include Brimley, Gladstone, Escanaba, Dickinson-Iron Tech, Kingsford, Marquette, Ishpeming, Hancock, Houghton, Chassell, and Calumet.

Teams compete in alliances of 3 robots to score as many basketballs into their hoops (at varying heights) as they can during a 2 min 15 sec match and end up on balance boards at center field. Visit to learn more about FIRST Robotics.

Team Information
Team 1596 in the pit at Traverse CityAbove and right, Team 1596 The Instigators from Sault Area High School prep their robot in the pit between matches and work the blue alliance in competition. Below, Team 4392, the Brimley Bays driving team stands ready to go. The rookie robot feeds 2-pointers for its alliance. Team 1596 working the alliance
Rookie Team, the Brimley Bays

2011 - news

2011 Season

Team #1596 makes the cut for state FIRST Robotics Competition championships | April 4, 2011

FRC Team 1596 the Instigators at Waterford Disctrict Competition with 3rd place and Quality Award trophies FRC Team 1596 – The Instigators recently found out they landed in 50th out of 172 teams in Michigan to quality for the State Championships. They will be part of a 62-team competition in Ypsilanti at Eastern Michigan University April 7-9. The The Instigators competed in both Traverse City and Waterford, picking up 3rd place honors at Waterford along with the Quality Award.

LSSU team mentors Kelsey Artley, Michael Gordon, Stephanie Spurr, and Cassie Holt, all of Sault Ste. Marie, along with professors Andrew Jones, mentor advisor, and Barbara Evans, robot mom, team treasurer, and mentor are traveling with the team in addition to mentors Zach Spurr, Jacob McClure and Doug Alexander. The team is still fundraising towards its budget for this year’s season costs. Donations may be sent to Sault Area High School in c/o The FRC Robotics Team, 904 Marquette Ave., Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783.

Team 1596 at the Waterford District Competition on March 11 & 12 after winning the Quality Award. The Instigators finished 3rd and ended up taking 50th out of 172 statewide. They head to Ypsilanti for the state championships on April 7-9.
Movin' U.P.

FLL Seaons


Photo of teams competing on Nov. 2015

LIGHTS, CAMERAS, ROBOTS: The seventh annual LSSU FLL Qualifying Tournament saw field action from seven teams in November. On the left are Lakeside Legends Red Team from Petoskey (Mich.), while on the right are the Battery Bashers from Washington Elementary in the Sault. LSSU engineering students, faculty and staff volunteered, along with area professionals serving as judges. Petoskey Red eventually took the tournament championship, but not before Washington school bettered them in the tabletop competition pictured here. This year’s competition theme was Trash Trek, a springboard to consider all manifestation of trash – from food to electronics to hazardous waste – and how planning, recycling and technology can manage it.FLL Trash Trek


Jr. FLL Think Tank


What can be done when natural disasters meet the places where we live, work and play?

2013 FLL Tournament ResultsNature's Fury

Champion & Core Value / Flint Advance
#400 Blizzard Wizards, Soo Township School
Coach: Christy Wilcox; Mentor: Michael Gordon; Team Members: Alyssa, Zachary, Lilly, Rece, Bonnie, Dryden and Tyler; Robot: Forecast

Presentation / Flint Advance
#12681 Lakeside Legends of the LEGO League, Petoskey Public Schools & YMCA
Coach: Lance Bailey; Mentors: Dan Armstrong, Robin Stump and Ron Edwards; Team Members: Zach, Jasper, Faith, Abby, Nadia, Nigel, Chris, Austin,k Gage and Jillian; Robot: AVI

#14198 Gale Force 10, St. Mary’s School, Sault Ste. Marie
Coach: Jamie Ojala; Mentor: Michael Gordon; Team Members: Bailey, Selina, Nick, Kolbe, Wyatt, Anthony, Zoe, Steven, Matthew and Bennette; Robot: Galanator

#10032 Winter Weather Warriors, Washington Elementary, Sault Ste. Marie
Coaches: Mary Myton and David Myton; Mentors: Lauryn LaFoille and Tasker Merrifield; Team Members: Jonah, Tyler, Nolan, Nicholas, Shelby, Alivia, Gavin, Joseph, Hayes and Landon; Robot: Big Red

#18181 Cyber Lakers, Mackinac Island
Coaches: Susan Bennett and Justin; Team Members: Clara, Ella, Tristan, Albert, Xavier, Ariana, Ava, Leon, Mabel and Asher.

#18418 Wave Wreckers, DeTour Arts & Technology Academy
Coaches: Sara Galarowic and Brian Nettleton; Team Members: Jaxon, Wyatt, Milla, Macy, Kimmie, Emily, Grant and Luke; Robot: Tsunami

Prepare. Stay Safe. Rebuild.

2013 Jr. FLL Expo

Congratulations to our teams from St. Mary’s School in Sault Ste. Marie!Jr. FLL Disaster Blaster Challenge logo

Wolverines: Coaches: Shawna-Sue Maulding and Kathleen Spencer; Team Members: Isabella, Ali, Hailee, Jordan, Abigail, and Caleb.

Eagles: Coaches: Tyler Helms and Adam Birkeland; Team Members: Gavin, Eleanor, Will, Mason, Rowan, and Marc.


FIRST LEGO League logo

2012 Season Results

Congratulations to all of our participating teams for an incredible event!
Six FLL and three Jr. FLL expo teams filled the gym with creativity and spirit. We wish the Mancelona Metal Men the best of luck as they move up to the FTC program in 2013.

Flint Advance
#1301 Senior Savers, Soo Township Elementary School
Coach Christy Wilcox; Mentor: Austin,Wilcox; Team Members: Alyssa, Avery, Zachary, Joseph, Rece, Lauryn, Riley, Kaitlyn, Bonnie and Lilly.
Congratulations on advancement to Flint!
Flint Advance
#4839 Wild Wheels, Washington Elementary School
Coach Mary Myton; Team Members: Joseph, Landon, Hannah, Alexander, Ellie, Katie, Taylor, Miles and Gavin.
Congratulations on advancement to Flint!
Teamwork #6006 Mancelona MetalMen, Mancelona Middle School
Coach Elizabeth VanPate; Team Members: Tom, Hunter, Gabe, Harmon, Corbin, Connor and Dylan.
Performance #11819 D.A.T.A., DeTour Arts & Technology Academy
Coach Brain Nettleton; Mentor: Gary Dudeck; Team Members: Alora, Leo, Bryce, Gunner, Wyatt, Kimmie, Joey, Riley, Pearl and Jason.
Presentation #1301 Senior Savers, Soo Township Elementary School
Coach Christy Wilcox; Mentor Austin,Wilcox; Team Members: Alyssa, Avery, Zachary, Joseph, Rece, Lauryn, Riley, Kaitlyn, Bonnie and Lilly.
Core Values #6006 Mancelona MetalMen, Mancelona Middle School
Coach Elizabeth VanPate; Team Members: Tom, Hunter, Gabe, Harmon, Corbin, Connor and Dylan.
Design & Stategy #1339 Guardians of the Ancients, Soo Township Elementary School
Coach Lauryn LaFoille; Assistant Coach Zach Spurr; Mentors Jamie Ojala and Tasker Merriweather; Team Members: Madison, Ryan, Dillon, McKenzie, Scott, Kaaleb, Taylor and Owen.
Judges’ Award Rookie of the Year – #6382 Mini Instigators, St. Mary’s Elementary School
Coach Kathleen Spencer; Team Assistant Turner; Team Members: Lucia, Bennette, Anthony, Daniel and Ahna.
Jr. FLL #579 St. Mary A, St. Mary’s Elementary School
Coach Elizabeth Eggert; Mentor Shell Stacy; Team Members: Arianna, Jase, Tessa, Mia, Ethan and Gavin.
Jr. FLL #2157 St. Mary’s Alpha, St. Mary’s Elementary School
Coach Michelle Callaghan; Mentor Shell Stacy; Team Members: Isabella, Elijah, Haillee, Matthew and Evah.
Jr. FLL #1603 Soo Township Seniors, Soo Township Elementary School
Coach Christy Wilcox; Assistant Coach Elaine; Mentor Hannah, Team Members: Slayden, Audrye and Braeden.
Senior Solutions logo

FLL teams explored aging and how it may effect a person’s ability to maintain his or her lifestyle, and came up with ideas to help them live a better quality of life.

Jr FLL Super Seniors logo

Junior FIRST LEGO League teams came up with ideas to improve the quality of life for seniors by learning about the obstacles some people face as they get older.


2011 Season – Food Factor

Germ Busters receive Spirit Award at Michigan FLL | December 10, 2011

FLL Team Germ Busters GermBusters in action

LEGO Germ Busters, team #823 from Soo Township advanced from its championship win at LSSU’s Movin’ U.P. tournament to the state competition in Flint. Congratulations to the team for receiving the Spirit Award and to Mike “Goggles” Soule (top left in photo at left) for receiving the Young Adult Mentor award.

2011 FLL Season Schedule

Check out the action and choose our tournament under FLL Events!

Jr FLL Expo

Congratulations to Soo Township team #121 the Healthy Heroes: Rece Boulette, Bonni Li and their assistant coaches Elaine Anderson and Tyler McGahey for winning the Learning & Effort Award!

2011 FLL & Jr FLL Season Results

In the 2011 Food Factor Challenge, teams explored the topic of food safety and examine the possible points of contamination our food encounters – from exposure to insects and creatures, to unsterile processing and transportation, to unsanitary preparation and storage – then find ways to prevent or combat these contaminates. In the Food Factor Challenge, teams built, tested, and programmed an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT to solve a set of Food Safety missions as well as researched, developed, and shared their innovative food safety solutions. Throughout their experiences, teams operated under FLL’s signature set of Core Values.

  • Team #12479 Farming Falcons from Lincoln Elementary School, Sault Ste. Marie coached by Keri Livingston and mentors James Claus of LSSU engineering, and Isaiah Garcia and Kody Swanson of FIRST Robotics Team #1596. Farming Falcons included Nick Dautremont, William Dautremont, Cass Gillhooley, Spencer Hazley, Nicholas Strader and Arriona Thompson. Congratulations on winning the Teamwork/Core Values trophy!
  • Team #11660 LEGO Robo Tigers from Soo Township Elementary School, Sault Ste. Marie coached by Zach Spurr and mentors Lauryn LaFoile and Jacob McClure of LSSU engineering and Dakota McKerchie of FRC Team #1596. The Tigers were Helena Bourque, Max Garchow, Patric Hildebrand, Dwayne Hull, Ian Harrison, Dillon Kinnear, Anton Lapine, Reid Latham, Jaden Marken, and Dylan Vollick. Congratulations on winning the Robot Design & Strategy trophy!
  • Team #822 Robo Chefs from Soo Township Elementary School, Sault Ste. Marie, coached by Christy Wilcox and mentors Ryan Malmborg of FRC Team #1596 and Austin Wilcox. The Chefs crew was Kyle Alexander, Logan Bergman, Madison Brown, Paige Cushman, McKenzie Dennis, Scott Kinnear, Alyssa Morley, Kaaleb Ranta, Zachary Wilcox, and Taylor Zoerner. Congratulations on wining the Project Research & Presentation trophy!
  • Team #823 LEGO Germ Busters from Soo Township Elementary School, Sault Ste. Marie, coached by Lynn Swartzlander and mentors Ryan Detloff, Michael “Goggles” Soule and Tasker Merrifield of FRC Team #1596. The Germ Busters consisted of Luke Agnew, Sarah Beckett, Jack Gierke, Collin Henderson, Seth Horton, Allen Lapine, Kyler Lawson, Noah Misiak, Heather Trestrail, and Dylan Twardy. Congratulations on winning the Robot Performance trophy and Advancing to the State Competition in Flint!

For more information about FLL, visit the U.S. FIRST® LEGO® League site.


2010 Season – Body Forward

FIRST Lego League logo

Congratulations to all of the teams who participated in the
2010 Movin’ U.P. FIRST LEGO League Qualifying Tournament on Nov. 20th

FLL Body Forward Challenge logo

Congratulations to our state tournament advancers:
#8998 Microbes, and #8938 Terminators FIRST World Festival will be April 27-30 in St. Louis, MO.

Thank you to all of our participants!

  • #781 LEGO Life Savers – Soo Township, coached by Lynn Swartzlander; Project: Innovation & Creativity; Teammates: Brianna, Danielle, Elaine, Kyle and Tyler
  • #1650 Robo Rockets – Whitefish Township, coached by Nate Beelen and Sherran Whitman; Core Values: Gracious Professionalism/Spirit; Teammates: Brook, Devin, Eli, Hannah, Joe, Joseph, Liam, Rachel and Zach
  • #3926 Mancenola MetalMen – Mancelona Public Schools, coached by Elizabeth Van Pate; Project: Presentation (2nd year!); Teammates: Tom, Gabe, Harmon, Harris, Jacob and Zach.
  • #8546 LEGO Rock Stars – Soo Township, coached by Christy Wilcox; Robot: Design & Strategy; Teammates: Collin, Dillon, Jaden, Nathan and Seth
  • #8938 Terminators – Sault Area Middle School, coached by Greg Rambo; Robot: Performance / Advance to State Tournament; Teammates: Alexander, Brandon, Chase, Christian, Hunter and Isaiah
  • #8941 Killer Koalas – Sault Area Middle School, coached by Greg Rambo; Teammates: Ethan, Hunter, Jacob, Jason, Jesse, Makaelynn, Michael and Raelene
  • #8998 Microbes – TCAPS Montessori, coached by Roberta Wagner and Reese Gallagher; Core Values: Teamwork & Tournament Champion / Advance to State Tournament; Teammates: Collin, Grayson, Liam, Noah, Olan, Resee, Skylar and Zander


2009 Season – Smart Move

SmartMove Challenge logo FIRST LEGO League logo

Congratulations to our 2009 SmartMove FIRST LEGO League tournament teams | November 2009

We had three terrific teams turn out for our inaugural event. Thank you to all of our volunteers and participants! Following are this year’s teams and standings:

  • Technical Design Challenge winner:
    Soo Township Tigers #10018
  • Project Presentation Challenge winner:
    Mancelona MetalMen #9643
  • Teamwork Challenge winner:
    Soo Township Tigers #10018
  • Robot Performance winner:
    Whitefish Township Robo Rockets #130
Congratulations to Soo Township Tigers, team #10018 for winning the Championship Trophy and advancing to the state-level tournament in Flint where they won the Rookie Award!

For more information about FIRST, visit

FIRST Robotics at LSSU Videos