LEXINGTON PARK, Md.  – TPP has supported The RoboBees for over 20 years, during which time they have won over thirty-eight different awards, including Chairman’s Awards, Engineering Inspiration Awards, and Event Winners!  

On Monday April 26th, TPP Board Members toured the new HIVEgrowingSTEMS/RoboBees facility in Hollywood, MD, with Erik Wood – Director of Programs, Zach Stachelczyk – Lead Mechanical Mentor, Tim Miedzinski – Lead Robot Mentor, and Andrew Koch – Lead Media Mentor (full titles below). Zach and Tim were both on The RoboBees team as students during high school and are giving back to Robobees.

What was once a suite of offices is currently being transformed into extensive areas for workshops, equipment storage, multimedia technology, workspace for building and testing prototypes, and meeting facilities for four tiers of programs: Vex Go, grades 3 through 4,  Vex IQ, grades 5 – 7, FTC (First Tech Challenge), grades 7 – 10, FRC (First Robotics Competition) Grades 9 – 12.

In the photo attached (right to left):  

Bonnie Green Executive Director, The Patuxent Partnership 

Kee Abell Director, Strategic Education Office for NAWCAD 

Andrew Koch growingSTEMS – Secretary/Treasurer, The RoboBees – Lead Media Mentor, NAWCAD engineering psychologist

Zach Stachelczyk – growingSTEMS – Vice Chairman, The RoboBees – Lead Mechanical Mentor, NAWCAD WOLF IC2&I – Project Engineer

Tim Miedzinski – growingSTEMS – Secretary/Treasurer, The Robobees – Lead Robot Mentor, Mechanical Instrumentation Branch, Lead Mechanical Engineer

Erik Wood – growingSTEMS – Director or Programs, NAWCAD PMA 259 – Systems Engineer

Tom Phelan Director, Air Vehicle Operating Unit, KBR

About The RoboBees: The RoboBees, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of science and Technology)  

Team 836, is a robotics team located in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. FIRST, an international educational non-profit organization, was founded by inventor and engineer Dean Kamen in 1989 and runs robotics competitions for children in grades K-12 worldwide. The RoboBees, one of several thousand FRC teams worldwide, were created in 2001 by Mr. David Buddenbohn, a teacher at the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center.  

Their diverse and unique student body pulls from seven different schools, including home schooled students. Their proximity to Naval Air Station Patuxent River means that the engineering culture of the PAX workforce has permeated into the organization of engineers, scientists, and mathematicians who work for local defense contractors and for the Navy at PAX.

This unique culture has resulted in a team that is successful both on and off the field. This year, The RoboBees participated in the Infinite Recharge At-Home Skills Competition, based in part on the 2020 competition. The Robobees were the only finalists from Maryland and one of the top three teams in the Maryland, Virginia, and DC region.

growingSTEMS, the local non-profit found by members of The RoboBees to support the local programs, inspires students to study STEM topics and helps young adults to pursue STEM-related fields in college, through scholarship, support, and outreach. It serves as part of our STEM Pipeline. 

The RoboBees have also implemented some major changes in how they train students to “bee the best they can bee”. During the R&D (Research and Development), new Bees went through comprehensive courses designed to teach them about FIRST, the team history, safety and other important topics.

Sounds interesting? Reach out to learn how to get involved as students or mentors. The Robobees and growingSTEMS will host their next student open enrollment event on June 19th.

Visit the growingSTEMS /Robobees website at The RoboBees (growingstems.org for more info or to make a donation.