What we're all about

20160401 first midwest robotics 12

There’s 10 seconds left on the clock. Your team is down by two points. You pick up the ball, turn, and head for the basket. 

Five seconds to go.

A defender charges at you from the left. The crowd is on their feet, screaming.

Two seconds to go.

You shoot; the ball floats towards the basket as time runs out. 

Imagine the scene as the ball begins to roll around the rim of the basket. Can you picture it? Can you feel the excitement and adrenaline pumping through your body?

Though the excitement and adrenaline are real, what you just envisioned is not the scene from a high school basketball game. It’s from a regional competition at the UIC Pavilion. And it wasn’t you squaring up to shoot that basket – but the 140lb robot you and your team spent the last six weeks building.

That’s right. A robot. Designed and built by students right here at Lockport Township High School.

FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) has been providing high school students with a real world science and engineering experience for more than 20 years. Each January, a new challenge is provided to FRC teams. Along with the challenge, teams are provided a common kit of parts from which to design and build a robot that can complete the challenge in a competitive environment. The build is grueling, with teams putting in more than 1000 hours of effort to get their robot running before the stop build date. The season culminates in a Regional tournament with a NBA Playoff type atmosphere.

Want to know a secret? This isn’t really about robotics – it’s about building confidence, character, and teamwork. Kids learn the value of self-starting, problem solving, and time management. They get the opportunity to create things with their hands. This is a program for everyone – involving kids interested in art, marketing, business, construction, and technology.

Our mission is to inspire young people to pursue careers in technology and engineering fields. And this isn’t limited to the students on this team. Each year we participate in community events to inspire others. We also work with grade school in our area to try and build similar after school programs. Our first success is starting an after school club this fall!

Your donation ensures we are able to provide this program each year, allowing these students to continue inspiring others while developing important life skills – skills employers look for when hiring to fill open positions. We work year round to secure grant funding and volunteer mentors, but there are always gaps.

We welcome the opportunity to earn your support. Please contact us at porterbots@gmail.com if you would like more information about our program, or are willing to help in any way.


  • j
  • John Schulz
  • l
  • Leah Mantooth
$850 Raised since September 29, 2015

Suggested Giving Levels


Helps keep our team going


Buys needed supplies


Greatly impacts every member

Our team video

What we're up to

  • Hendrick Metal Products donated "Hope this helps your PorterBots team win the 2019 competition. Go PorterBots!" - via John Schulz
  • Nadia Kolz donated "My son Jimmy Kolz is a Freshman and is excited about joining Porterbots. He says its a lot of fun."
  • Giving Back

    Team members assisted with donation collection in November for USO Illinois' Littlest Heroes program and the local animal shelter. Donations helped the team purchase items to stuff stockings, which will be delivered to the organizations in mid-December. Our goal is to provide about 200 stockings between the two organizations.

  • Kids Love Lenny!

    As part of our goal to inspire students of all ages, we took Lenny out to play catch with the folks at the 3rd Annual FIRST Robotics Day with the Kane County Cougars.

  • Lockport Township High School East has started online fundraising!

    Our team has officially started accepting credit card donations. We need awesome team members and donors like you to share this link and tell your community why you support Lockport Township High School East Lockport PorterBots!


  • John Schulz is now a leader for the Lockport Township High School East Lockport PorterBots

  • At 03:24 am, the fundraising platform for Lockport Township High School East was born.

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