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History

BadgerB.O.T.S. (Building on Talented Students) was founded in 2004 by Benjamin Senson, Madison Memorial High School Aerospace Engineering and Physics Teacher and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) AeroEngineering Master Teacher. Mr. Senson is a tireless advocate for science and technology education and is currently President of BadgerBOTS Robotics Corporation. His passion and talents for engaging and inspiring students of all ages in the areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is contagious and genuine.

FALL 2004
FIRST® Robotics Challenge (FRC)
BadgerBOTS FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) was the organization’s first program. BadgerBOTS FRC – Team 1306 is a unique techno varsity Sport for the Mind™ program designed to help high-school-aged students learn and discover how interesting and rewarding the lives of engineers and scientists can be.

SPRING 2005
Rookie All-Star Award
BadgerBOTS FRC – Team 1306 wins the Rookie All-Star Award at the Wisconsin FRC Regional. This award celebrates the rookie team exemplifying a young, but strong partnership effort, as well as implementing the mission of FIRST to inspire students to learn more about science and technology. This award qualifies the team for the World Festival.

SUMMER 2005
LEGO® Robotics Summer Day Camp

BadgerBOTS LEGO Robotics Summer Day Camp developed to provide the financial sustainability for the BadgerBOTS organization. The first camp had one two-week, half-day session and 30 campers. Campers in 4th-8th grade build LEGO® robots for fun-filled, team-oriented adventures and expeditions while mastering science, engineering and robotics concepts. BadgerBOTS FRC team members and alumni help staff and run the camps.

FALL 2005
FIRST LEGO® League (FLL)
With the success of the Summer Robotics Day Camps, BadgerBOTS FIRST LEGO League (FLL) was started in 2005. FLL introduces 4th-8th grade students to real-world engineering challenges. The first season had five Madison School District teams.

NOVEMBER 2005
Badgerland FLL Tournament
BadgerBOTS hosts the first Badgerland FLL Regional Tournament at Madison Memorial High School.

FALL 2006
BadgerBOTS After-School Programs

After-School programs are a great way to introduce science and technology to students. BadgerBOTS develops a 6-week, 2 hour innovative workshop that teaches science, math and computer skills through the use of LEGO Mindstorms® for NXT® programs. Young people learn new skills in problem solving, mechanics, teamwork and much more.

SPRING 2009
Mallard Baseball

BadgerBOTS FRC – Team1306 builds a robot for Madison Mallard Baseball to throw out the first pitch of the game.

FALL 2009
SitSki Project

BadgerBOTS FRC Team 1306 collaborates with Isthmus Engineering to design a manufacturing assembly line and build SitSkis designed by UW CREATe Lab. SitSkis are a chair on skis allowing people with disabilities to cross country ski using mainly arm strength. Team 1306 manufacturers 150 SitSkis which are provided at no cost to resorts nationwide for the benefit of athletes with disabilities.

MARCH 2010
BadgerBOTS FRC Team 1306 Wins Wisconsin Regional Chairman’s Award
The Chairman’s Award is FIRST’s most prestigious award, it honors the FRC team at the Regional that best represents a  model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. The Regional’s Chairman’s Award helps keep the central focus of the FIRST Robotics Competition on the goal of inspiring greater levels of respect and honor for science and technology. This award qualifies the team for the World Festival.

APRIL 2010
BadgerBOTS FRC Team 1306 – Attends World Festival in Atlanta, Georgia
Team 1306 attends the FIRST World Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. 

SPRING 2011
Madison Children’s Museum Exhibit
BadgerBOTS has teamed up with the Madison Children’s Museum to introduce more Madison-area kids and adults to the fun and challenge of robotics. BadgerBOTS FLL students built an automated, modular, interactive LEGO exhibit for the new Madison Children’s Museum.

FALL 2011
Minor FIRST LEGO League (Minor FLL)
To capture young children’s natural curiosity and to engage students at a younger age, BadgerBOTS has developed the BadgerBOTS Minor FLL program for 2nd – 3rd graders. This program has all the challenges and emphasizes all the Core Values of FLL, but does not require the time commitment or have the pressures of competition.

FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)
With a grant from Google, BadgerBOTS FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) program was started in 2011. FTC is designed for those who want to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as for well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.

SEPTEMBER 2011
BadgerBOTS Robotics Corporation

BadgerBOTS  incorporates the organization to provide the professional structure for obtaining resources for BadgerBOTS programs, camps and courses. BadgerBOTS Robotics Corporation Officers and Board of Directors are appointed.

DECEMBER 2011
501(c)(3) Not-For-Profit Status
BadgerBOTS Robotics Corporation applies for 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status.

SPRING 2012
BadgerBOTS Education Center

BadgerBOTS Robotics moves into its new 5,000 sq ft. location in Middleton, WI. For the first time all BadgerBOTS programs will be offered out of one convenient location.

SUMMER 2012
LEGO Robotics Summer Day Camps
BadgerBOTS Robotics Corporation expands Summer Day Camps to six sessions of 30 students/camp or 180 campers. An Advanced Camp is added to prepare students and FLL teams for the Fall competitive season. BadgerBOTS Robotics teams up with KEVA Sports Center to offer a full-day camp option.