In 2000, Bedford Public Schools was introduced to F.I.R.S.T. (For Inspiration & Recognition in Science & Technology) robotics by Dana Corporation’s Brenda Moyer. Ms. Moyer approached her sister & Smith Road Elementary Teacher, Debbie Moyer-May and offered to finance a F.I.R.S.T. Lego League team for SRE. Together, they created the Dana Unicorns F.L.L. team. With the funding and engineering support from Dana, and the school support from BPS, the Bedford FIRST Robotics program was born.In 2002, members of the Dana Unicorns FLL team attended the unveiling ceremony for Dana’s FRC Team 279, Tech Fusion. Older members of the team were ready to move on to the high school, but we had no team. There the students met Mr. Dick Micka from La-Z-Boy corporation. Members of the Dana Unicorns traveled with Coach May to do a presentation for La-Z-Boy. This introduction and presentation proved to be valuable as he offered to provide $5,000 to Bedford High School to seed a FRC team. After receiving financial backing, the students approached BHS math teacher, Ellen Bacon, and convinced her to coach the team. With the support of Tech Fusion, and Dana’s mentors, the financial backing of La-Z-Boy, and a coach secured, the students were able to register the first Bedford High School team. That fall, they were they officially became Bedford Express FRC Team 1023.
In 2003, members of Bedford Express (BX) experienced their first season, Stack Attack. BX created a train theme, and created T.H.O.M.A.S. the robot. This rookie team was able to set things on fire, winning the “Rookie All-Star” Award at their first regional competition, Great Lakes Regional, held at Eastern Michigan University. This is the highest rookie award and automatically advanced them to world’s. At world’s, the team impressed the judges and brought home the WORLD Rookie All-Star Trophy. Express was off to a fantastic start.
In 2004, the team was able to refine the build process and produce a strong robot, the Yellow Dart. The team competed in two regional competitions and made it to the semi-finals at both the Detroit Regional and the Great Lakes Regional.
In 2005, the team chugged on and brought home a judges award from the Great Lakes Regional, and edvanced to the finals. “Hurricane Bacon” was a strong competitor in the “Triple Play” competition.
In 2006, the team produced the “Ellenator.” They won the Johnson and Johnson Sportsmanship Award at the Great Lakes Regional. They attended world’s for the first time since their rookie year. They ended up 7th place in the Archenemies Division at the World Championship in Atlanta, GA at the Georgiadome. 84 teams were in this division. The team not really did “Aim High” in this challenge.
In 2007, BX created “Shake ‘N’ Bacon” to compete in the “Rack and Roll” challenge. This year the team made a pneumatic claw which proved to be very effective in picking up and moving the tubes. The team did very well and were finalists in both the Great Lakes Regional held at Eastern Michigan University and the Biolermaker Regional held at Purdue.
In 2008, the “Baconator” came to life in the “Overdrive” challenge. The team advanced to the Quarter Finals at the Great Lakes Regional and attended World’s in Atlanta, Georgia. Sadly, this was Mrs. Bacon’s final year as coach as she retired from teaching and coaching. Mrs. Bacon started a great tradition and helped create a very strong tradition in Bedford.
In 2009, Debbie Moyer-May and Nick Poskarbiewicz took over as coaches. They had coached at the FLL and FTC levels, but this was their first year with the high school team. This year Michigan also restructured the competition process and piloted a new district program for the state. The team transitioned into new leadership and brought on a strong class of freshman. The team created a very advanced robot which they took to their first Michigan District in Lansing, Michigan. The team was awarded the Engineering Inspiration Award for the strong engineering in their robot. Unfortunately, as beautiful as this machine was, it was quickly evident that it could not compete with faster, less precise machines. The running joke became that the team made a Cadillac when they needed a dump truck. The team modified their turret system to improve speed at the cost of accuracy. They improved at their second district held in Troy, Michigan. They were again honored by the judges with the Delphi Driving Tomorrow’s Technology Award. The “Lingle Lander,” named after engineering mentor Tom Lingle of RD Tool and Manufacturing, the team’s first crab drive robot, made a journey to Atlanta to compete in the World Competition.
In 2010, BX continued to advance their FIRST Experiences. The team focused on reaching out to other teams and to the community. BX created “Ringgo” in honor of mentor Bruce Gonring. Ringgo was a soccer playing robot that was selected by Team 67 (Who’s HoT? Heroes of Tomorrow) and Team 51(Wings of Fire) to compete in finals. The “Hot Wings Express” formed a strong alliance which ended up taking home Bedford’s first win and first blue banner. BX was grateful to the HoT team and Wings of Fire for this experience. BX also brought home the Motorola Quality trophy. Ringgo next traveled back to Troy for their second district and was awarded for their business plan with the “Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Kliner Perkins Caufield and Byers.” The team earned enough points in the state to advance to States, however, the funding was not there. The team mounted a “200 for 20″ campaign and reached out to the community to find 200 people or businesses to give $20 each. The team successfully raised the $4,000 needed for states in 3 days! At states, the team qualified for world’s but was unable to attend due to finances and a marching band trip to Florida.
In 2011, BX soared. They traveled back to Detroit for their first district of the season. The Poskarbinator, named for Coach Poskarbiewicz, performed very well. The team ended up 4th seed after eliminations. The team also won the “Rockwell Automation Innovation in Control System” trophy. BX then moved on to Livonia for the first ever Livonia District held at Churchill High School. The Poskarbinator dominated this competition and ended as the 1st seed. The team invited team 2137 (TORC) and team 3617 (Cold Logic) to join them for finals. Together, this alliance proved unstoppable, bringing home Bedford’s first win as an alliance captain. In addition to winning the tournament, BX won the “Coopertition Award” for loaning a mini-bot to Tecumseh for use during the tournament, the Underwriters Laboratories Industrial Safety Award,” and the district “Chairman’s Award.” Their performance advanced them to states and the team promptly began their 2nd “200 for $20″ to earn money for states. The community again supported the team by donating enough money to cover the $4,000 entry fee. The team traveled to states and was chosen by Team 27 (Team RUSH) and 245 (Adambots) to advance to eliminations. The alliance lost a very close match in the finals, but took home Michigan Finalist trophy. Additionally, the team won the Michigan State Chairman’s Award which advanced it to world’s to compete with the other Regional Chairman winners. Additionally, Junior Shelby Beavers, was selected as one of 6 Michigan team members that were selected as “Dean’s List” winners. The team did very well at world’s and had it’s highest ever world finish by advancing to semi-finals in their division.
- 2011 Michigan State Championship Chairman’s Award
- 2011 Michigan State Championship Finalists. Thank you Team RUSH & Adambots!
- 2011 Livonia District Chairman’s Award
- 2011 Livonia District Winners (#1 Seed & Alliance Captain). Thank you T.O.R.C & Cold Logic!
- 2011 Livonia Industrial Safety Award sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories
- 2011 Livonia Coopertition™ Award
- 2011 Detroit Rockwell Automation Innovation in Control System Award
- 2010 Detroit District Winners. Thank you HOT & Wings of Fire
- 2010 Quality Award sponsored by Motorola
- 2010 Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Kliner Perkins Caufield and Byers
- 2009 Engineering Inspiration Award Lansing Competition
- 2009 Delphi Driving Tomorrow’s Technology Award
- 2008 Quarterfinalists Great Lakes Regional
- 2007 Finalists Great Lakes Regional
- 2007 Finalists Boilermaker Regional
- 2006 7th Place out of 84 teams in Archimedes Division Atlanta Championships
- 2006 Johnson and Johnson Sportmanship Award Great Lakes Regional
- 2005 Finalist and Runner-up Great Lakes Regional
- 2005 Judges Award Great Lakes Regional
- 2004 Semifinalists Great Lakes Regional
- 2004 Semifinalists Detroit Regional
- 2003 Rookie All Star Regional
- 2003 Rookie All Star World Championships
2004 The Yellow Dart
2005 Hurricane Bacon
2006 The Ellenator
2007 Shake ‘N’ Bacon
2009 Lingle Lander
2010 Ringgo Express