FRC Team 399 Eagle Robotics is an elite club run by the students for the students in order to spread the passion of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) throughout our community and the world. The team and the individual members of the team work to represent the AVHSD and the community of Lancaster, California.


Eagle Robotics was founded by Dr. Marianne McCarthy in the fall of 1999. This page summarizes our yearly participation in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).


Team 399’s 2014-2015 season focused on building upon our tradition of success. Recognizing the need to evolve as a team, we created our motto “The Legacy Rises” as new members picked up the torch passed on by those who have made lasting impacts. With a chairman’s win in 2014, our goal was to continue to progress  We initiated several new undertakings, which included professionally led workshops to bring our training to a higher level, monthly newsletters to document team activities, and a restructuring of our Multimedia sub-team to make it more efficient along with the addition a new Public Outreach sub-team. Furthermore, we created additional team bonding activities, including our mentor appreciation breakfast handmade by the team and our pie throwing event to celebrate Pi Day.

2015 kicked off with the reveal of Recycle Rush, a game in which a robot would pick up, move and stack plastic totes and pool noodles for points. 399 responded with the creation of Phoenix, named by twelve year old Logan Meece from our now traditional Name A Robot contest. Our first regional destination was Inland Empire, where Phoenix ranked 11th and was chosen by the 5th seeded alliance. Although, we were eliminated in quarter-finals, we were winners of the Creativity Award.  We then traveled to the newly founded Ventura Regional where we progressed to the semi-finals. Our recognition did not end there, however, as we again received the Creativity Award, as well as the coveted Chairman’s award for the 4th time in our teams history and we were thrilled. At our third and final regional in San Diego, we took the win, giving us a double qualification for Champs for the second year in a row. Making our way to St. Louis, 399 finished ranked 41st after 100 qualification matches, and was selected by the 5th seeded alliance. Our alliance narrowly missed semi-finals by a half point, but we remained proud of our season’s efforts.

The year culminated with an invitation to throw the first pitch at the JetHawks game on Aerospace Night, being recognized by our state assemblyman, Tom Lackey, when he toured our shop, and establishing our first RoboProm Scholarship.  Then summer brought about the inception of our well attended Bottle Rocket Workshop, an invitation to participate in a STEM event at the BMA’s,  and a visit to Tek Trek promoting robotics to girls interested in engineering. We look forward to building upon this amazing team legacy and keeping the torch burning bright. 


In celebration of our 15th year, Team 399 designed a challenge coin with the verse “Stepping up our Game to become a World Class Team.” A coin was handed out to every team member to carry with them as a reminder of this goal and encourage every person to go that extra mile. One outcome directly attributable to this mantra was the creation of our new Branding Handbook, developing a more cohesive identity with our uniforms, logo, and marketing.

Our first competition took us back to Inland Empire with our robot, Cortex, named by third grade contest winner Noah Gregory. In an exceptional display of play, our alliance took first place and the team won the prestigious Chairman’s Award, both qualifying us to attend Championships early on in the competition season. Long time mentor, David Voracek, was also recognized as a Woodie Flower nominee, our first ever. Next, we were on to the Utah regional where we played some challenging rounds and were ecstatic to win the Industrial Design Award. Our last regional, in Las Vegas, we were up against some heavy hitting teams but were proud to walk away with the Gracious Professionalism Award. The Arch welcomed us at the Championships and St. Louis and Eagle Robotics finished as the #1 seeded team on Archimedes. Unfortunately we failed to advance further but were awarded our second Industrial Design Award.

Other notable accomplishments this season included a hugely successful RoboProm fundraiser, being the recipients of the coveted Navigating Change Award presented by the AV Board of Trade, and winning the Judges Award at the off season competition, Chezy Champs.


Each year, our team develops a new theme to build our marketing strategy around. This year led us down a patriotic path to honor inventors who played an important role in American history. The slogan, “Math Science, and the Pursuit of Technology,” was integrated to inspire the next generation of STEM leaders to make their own history.

Our robot ENIAC, named after the first computer invented, performed well at our first competition in San Diego making it to the quarter-finals.   From there, we made our way to the Sacramento Regional and were pleased to have ENIAC make it to the finals and be awarded the Delphi Engineering Excellence Award.  Our third regional took place at Inland Empire.  We were excited to be at a new regional location and win the Engineering Inspiration Award, qualifying us to go to World Championships in St. Louis.  ENIAC made a respectable showing and the team came home proud of their accomplishments. The off season kept the team busy with our Summer Robotics Workshop, the Gateway Academy Workshop, distributing robot cards to the pediatric ward at AV Hospital, the Lego Workshop in Edwards, assisting with an underwater robotics camp, and the Leona Valley Science Fair.


Our robot, X-1, was named to commemorate the 65th anniversary of Chuck Yeager’s historic flight over the Mojave Desert breaking the sound barrier.  Working together, the team put the “right stuff” into a neatly designed bot and hit the road to three regional competitions.  Our first stop was in San Diego where Team 399 won the Quality Award and was a regional finalist.  Next we were off to Utah.  Losing just one match, Team 399 was the number one seeded team but failed to advance beyond the first round of eliminations.  We did, however, receive another Quality Award as well as our first Website Award.   From there, we returned to Denver hoping for the opportunity to qualify for Championships.  We ended up second in the rankings and were picked by the first seeded team.  Our alliance played exceptionally well together, resulting in a much needed regional win.  The team also won the Engineering Excellence Award and team member, Nick Pontius, was the recipient of the Dean’s List Finalist Award. 

Qualified to compete at Championships in St. Louis, Team 399 made preparations to host our largest fundraiser, RoboProm.  Our sixth consecutive year putting on this event proved to be our most successful with over 1200 in attendance.  Libby Kamen joined us and fun was had by all dancing the night away.  Unfortunately X-1 had mechanical problems and failed to make it make it to eliminations.  Repaired on arrival back home, however, X-1 competed successfully in several off season events along with HoneyBadger, a rookie made robot created to provide first year team members with build experience.


The 20th anniversary of FIRST was a monumental year for Eagle robotics. A high point came when our team was notified that we were a recipient of a Google Rise Award for promoting STEM and computer science education initiatives. This award allowed the team to expand their community outreach efforts with the addition of Lego workshops throughout the Antelope Valley. We also added a book drive in collaboration with our High Desert Lego Tournament. Contributions for the newly opened, Miller Elementary, were greatly appreciated by students and school officials alike.

This year, a spy theme was unveiled and team 399 named our robot “James Bot.” Our license to drill resulted in an award winning season, competing in three regional competitions for the first time ever. Unfortunately, in San Diego, James Bot began to “self destruct” when its arm broke in the finals during a match. At our next competition in Los Angeles, our team was awarded Excellence in Design for our Autodesk animation, Logobots saves the Likos, as well as Gracious Professionalism. Finally, in Utah, team 399 and alliance teams, 2122 and 3239, won the regional which qualified us to go the Championships in St. Louis. We were also winners of the prestigious Engineering Excellence award. Eagle robotics expanded their off season events and competed at IRI (Indiana Robotics Invitational) for their third consecutive year. We have made it our mission to spread science and technology and have fun while doing so.


Following the success of our previous year, team 399 was excited to step up our game on all levels. Our team reached out on an international level, collecting shoes for Soles for Souls to help the victims of Haiti’s earthquake as well as donating school supplies to Love a Child Foundation. Continuing with our award winning Wizard of Oz theme, we named our robot, the Wizard, and competed in the Arizona and Colorado Regionals. For the first time, the team won the Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation in Arizona and in Denver, the team was awarded the Engineering Inspiration award which qualified the team to go to the Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Our team made it to the quarter finals but lost to the winning Champion alliance. Our team also hosted our fourth annual RoboProm, a dance held for the students who miss their high school Prom attending robotics competitions. This year we had over 800 students from many teams gather to dance the night away.


Eagle Robotics became even more active in the off season this year. We held several fundraisers including candy sales, a car wash, and a garage sale. Our team continued with our past community service and outreach programs, and planned new ones, including a workshop for Special Education students. FIRST’s game this year, Lunacy, provided several interesting challenges, including a field with no traction with the robots acting as goals. Despite these challenges, this season brought about our first regional win at the Colorado Regional. Our team also competed in the Los Angeles Regional, winning the Imagery Award for our colorful interpretation of our “Wizard of Oz” theme. Our robot, the Tinman, was also a finalist at the Championships on the Curie division, just one step away from the Einstein field. 

This successful year saw the addition of new mentors; Sylvia Haro, Mary Reed, Julie Voracek, and Jeff Corbets, as well as the return of our many veteran mentors; John Armstrong, Rene Haro, Barbara Pawlak, Michael Reed, Justin Shores, and David Voracek.


Despite the departure of the amazing Wallace duo, our team started this years’ robotics season in full force. We began by creating an outreach program reading to children at Barnes and Noble called “Robot Read-Alouds” and continued with the majority of team members mentoring Lego League teams throughout the community. Our team’s annual High Desert Lego Tournament grew 200% from the previous year. 

Team members also went to middle schools throughout the community and gave presentations to expose them to the value of robotics. Our team also adopted a retired F-105 Thunderchief airplane at a local air park to clean monthly. This season, the robot was named “the Phantom”, which brought about an entire Phantom of the Opera theme. Our team competed at the San Diego and the Los Angeles Regionals. We won the prestigious Chairman’s Award for the second consecutive year in Los Angeles, which qualified the team for the Championships in Atlanta, GA. In Atlanta, our team mentored two girls from New Zealand, eager to start their own team, and handed out special “Hero Cards” to Dean Kamen and Woody Flowers.


With the addition of two new advisors, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace, our team worked especially hard prior to the six week build season to help foster science and technology in the community. We participated in several community activities to promote the robotics program such as Salute to Youth, the Air Show at Edwards Air Force Base, and VEX workshops for middle school students. Our team also invited elementary school kids to help with naming the robot. A 5th grader, Shane, won the contest and the team’s eighth robot was given the name “Buster 399.” The most exciting team achievement by far this year, was winning the prestigious Chairman’s Award at the Los Angeles Regional Competition. After becoming a finalist at the Philadelphia Regional, Eagle Robotics team members traveled to the International Competition in Atlanta to cap off an incredibly successful season.


The start of our seventh season was very rough for the entire robotics team. On August 31, 2005, the newly designated manufacturing leader, Tyler Duggins, son of departed mentor, Thomas Duggins, was tragically killed in a car accident on his way to school. During this time of grief, our team showed that they were truly a family pulling together to support each other during this time of grief and help fundraise for the Duggins family. In their memory, our team decided on the robot name “TnT”, Tyler and Thomas. Overcoming tragedy, our team pulled together more than ever before and successfully started a VEX team, along with competing in the Chesapeake and Las Vegas Regional Competitions; where our team took home the Spirit and Engineering Inspiration Award. The team motto was really felt by everyone this year, “FIRST we were a team, then we became a family.”


This year our team continued the amazing growth of the previous year with an incredible sponsorship from HR Textron. The team comprised of 26 members put together a robot named “Mr. Clean,” in recognition of Nick Hayes, a member of the team who was struggling through chemotherapy. Mr. Clean placed first at the SCRRF Chatsworth Scrimmage Competition. Our team went on to compete in both the NASA sponsored Las Vegas Regional Competition, and the Atlanta, Georgia National Competition. Our team was also made stronger by the mentorship of the late Thomas Duggins, father of team member Tyler Duggins, who passed away unexpectedly at the Las Vegas Regional. He helped us to weld, laugh, and grow; the team will forever mourn his loss.


Community awareness and sponsorship grew this year exponentially this year. The team attracted additional mentors and services as well including continuing mentor Dick Chambers, Principle Engineer at Northrop, Harold Howell, Operations Engineer at NASA, Precision Machine and Engineering, Edo/Technical Services Operations, and former robotics members and parents. Our team’s robot, Gobstopper, competed at the Los Angeles Regional and placed 5th. We also competed at the National competition held in Atlanta, Georgia, and placed 12th out of 73 teams in one out of four divisions. 

Our team was proud to accomplish the 3rd highest ranking, at 270 points, as well.


The members of the 4th Robotics team said good-bye to Mr. Bowen, who resigned, and the team began anew with Mr. Spoelstra as lead advisor. Since “Oompa Loompa” did so well the previous year, our team decided to stick with the Willy Wonka theme, naming the robot “Oompa Loompa 2.” We made a good showing at the Regional Competition in Los Angeles, CA again this year and came in 5th place. Nationals moved to Houston Texas and our team placed 12th in our division.

This years mentors included: Mr. Chambers, Mr. Matuszeski, Mr. Cornell, Mr. Colon, Mr. Craft, Mrs. Lowe, Ms. Berumen, Ms. Cooney, and Mrs. Henry


Mr. Ty Mettler left the Robotics team this year, and Mr. Bowen became lead advisor welcoming assistant advisor Mr. Spoelstra. Vice Principal Stacy Bryant created a marketing subteam lead by Rose Berumen to expand public awareness and team imagery. 

The mentors this year included: Mrs. Lowe, Mr. Chambers, Mr. Matuszeski, Mr. Cornell, Mr. Colon, Mrs. Henry, Mr. Jennings, and Mr. Craft. Our team decided to name the robot “Oompa Loompa” which took 2nd place in the Los Angeles, CA, Regional Competition. We placed 20th in their division at Nationals in Orlando, Florida and ended the season very happy with the progression of our team.


Returning as lead advisor, Mr. Ty Mettler added an assistant advisor, Mr. Mick Bowen. Team mentors included: Mr. Adam Matuszeki, Mr. Parker, Mrs. Thunderling, Mrs. Henry, and Mrs. Lowe. The robot was named “Cledus” the second year. It was during this year that we also created a team logo that has stuck with the team ever since it was created. Interested in exploring a different venue, we decided to go to the Los Angeles, CA, Regional Competition and we finished 23rd out of 47 teams. We returned to the National Competition in Orlando, Florida and placed 42nd out of 100 teams in our division.


Team 399 originated in 1999. Dr. Marianne McCarthy from NASA Dryden approached Lancaster High in hopes of creating the first Robotics team in the Antelope Valley. The team was formed with lead advisor Ty Mettler and a group of 24 students. NASA became a major sponsor giving us the opportunity to get started and compete. 

Mentors included: Mr. Parker, Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Adam Matuszeski, Mr. Thunderling, Mrs. Henry, Mrs. Farris, and Mrs. Mettler. We named our first robot “PacBot” and competed in the Regional Competition in San Jose, CA, placing 31st out of 43. We also attended the National Competition in Orlando, Florida and made a good showing for a rookie team placing 89th out of 268.