. About - L&N STEMpunks

About Us




The Mechanical Team is responsible for designing the functional elements of our team's robots.

Lead by Stone Dudley


The Electrical Team creates the systems that power and move the robot. Electrical rigorously ensures that every aspect of the robot works to it's full potential using FRC's control systems as well as developing their own innovative systems.

Lead by Joseph Motto


The Programming Team uses the Python programming language to develop innovative programs for our robots. Programming tirelessly bugfixes and optimizes code up until the day of competition.

Lead by Tyler Duckworth

Game Strategy

The Game Strategy team analyzes each year's FRC game and develops game plans, strategies, and alliances with other teams. Game Strategy consists of members across all of the engineering teams.

Lead by Clayton Gilmer

Safety Captain

The Safety Captain assures that all team members are being safe both in the lab and outside the lab in addition to keeping the team up to safety regulations according to FIRST and the game manual.

Angelo Panettieri (left)


The Branding Team ideates, designs, and creates our team's physical branding standards. They're ultimately responsible for our team's public image. This includes our team's shirts, costumes, competition pit, and parade floats.

Lead by Jordan Drake


Our business team is responsible for reaching out to local businesses to seek their support, either financially or otherwise. Is also responsible to get the team involved in the community and trains/supports new members to introduce them to the FIRST program.

Lead by Nate Stapf


Logan O'Neal

Logan O'Neal has been an active member of the team for several years. He is a motivated, hard-working leader. Logan worked as Programming Lead last year. He has used his creativivty to make the team stronger and more innovative.



Nick Sirek

Mr. Sirek is a second-career high school science teacher at the L&N STEM Academy. He teaches multiple subjects such as Geology, Biology, and AP Environmental Science. This is his third year as mentor with the STEMpunks. His work in the environmental field exposed him to a variety of engineering fields including civil, chemical, industrial, mechanical, and geological engineering.

Teacher Sponsor since 2016


Jessica Motto

Jessica has been with the STEMpunks since 2015. She helps mentor the business and branding teams. She was an alumni and was on the programming and branding teams in previous years.

Business and Branding Mentor since 2019

Daniel Bueckman

Daniel has been with the STEMpunks since 2011. He helps mentor the business team. He was an alumni and was on the business, finance, and HR teams in previous years in addition to being team captain.

Business Mentor since 2019

Beth Motto

Beth has been with the STEMpunks since 2017. She helps mentor the business and finance team. She mentors alongside her husband, who also mentors the STEMpunks finance and business teams.

Business Mentor since 2017

Greg Motto

Greg has been with the STEMpunks since 2017. He helps mentor the business and finance team. He mentors alongside his wife, who also mentors the STEMpunks finance and business teams.

Business Mentor since 2017

Jonathan Bueckman

Jonathan has been with the STEMpunks since our inception in 2011. He returns to mentor the team he previously led as a student, the Electrical team. He mentors alongside his father, who also has been with the STEMpunks since day one. He currently attends the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Electrical Mentor since 2015

Mark Best

Mark Best is from Seattle, where he worked for Boeing developing test hardware for aircraft. He is currently retired. His specialty is Computer Aided Design. This is the second FIRST robotics team he has helped, having previously worked with team 4469. Volunteering is his way of giving back what he learned over his career and keeping his mind in motion.

CAD Mentor since 2015

Randy Bueckman

In his 36+ years of working in Biomedical Engineering, Randy Bueckman has transitioned from vacuum tubes through transistors and integrated circuits to surface mount technology. He has always had great interest in automation. His sons have been interested in robots for years. Through FIRST® Robotics and the L&N STEMpunks team they can work on them together!

Electrical Mentor since 2011

Robert Duckworth

Robert is from the frozen North, but we won't hold that against him. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001 and has been working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in areas such as nuclear and superconducting materials, cryogenics, and vacuums.

Mechanical Mentor since 2014



Circe Whitson - Team Captain - [Univ Here]

Savanna Belz - Mechanical Lead - [Univ Here]

John Christian Stanley - Game Strategy Lead - [Univ Here]

Cayden Coffman - Mechanical - [Univ Here]

Gabriel Peck - Mechanical - [Univ Here]


Nina Klein - Team Captain - Emory University

Ethan Duckworth - Mechanical Lead - University of Alabama Huntsville

John Codevilla - Electrical Lead - University of Tennessee Knoxville

Nathan Holland - Mechanical - University of Tennessee Knoxville

Jessica Motto - Programming - University of Tennessee Knoxville


Daniel Bueckman - Team Captain - University of Tennessee Knoxville

Emily Chapin - Electrical - University of Tennessee Knoxville

Andrew Hunter - Mechanical - University of Tennessee Knoxville

Caitlin Hutchinson - Products

Ella Marston - Electrical Lead - University of Tennessee Knoxville

Julia Pavon - Communications Lead - Boston University

Chloe Taylor - Mechanical Lead

Kishan Taylor - Finance Lead

Maddie Wright - Business - Pellissippi State Community College


Donnie Carter - Mechanical - Pellissippi State Community College

Michael Glass - Mechanical - Kettering University

Preston Gull - Programming

Davidson Kennedy - Mechanical/CAD - Pellissippi State Community College

Kobe Kinney - Programming

Ben Klein - Programming Lead - University of Tennessee Knoxville

Yves Paultre - Programming - Tennessee Technological University

Brenden Ragsdale - Electrical

Elijah Romig - Mechanical

Taylor Sloan - Communications

Ali Wilson - Mechanical

Alex Walker - Mechanical Lead - Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Thomas-Allan Tison - Team Captain - University of Tennessee Knoxville


Jonathan Bueckman - Electrical Lead - University of Tennessee Knoxville

Alyssa Cox-Lewis - Products Lead - Middle Tennessee State University

Will Dyer - Engineering - Pellissippi State Community College

Henry Gertsen - Team Captain - University of Tennessee Knoxville

Jack Gragg - Engineering - Pellissippi State Community College

Nathaniel Heinrich - Engineering Lead - Pellissippi State Community College

Jentry Jones - Business Mentor - University of Tennessee Knoxville

Joseph McRee - Engineering - University of Tennessee Chattanooga

Eric O'Reilley - Game Strategy Lead - Pellissippi State Community College

Gregory Poveda - Engineering - University of Alabama Huntsville

Samuel Stair - Communications - Pellissippi State Community College

Joshua Witt - Communications Lead - Pellissippi State Community College


Benjamin Croisdale - Programmer - University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Charles 'CJ' Johnson - Engineering - Florida Institute of Technology

Robbie Long - Electrical

Jonathan Redington - Programming Lead - University of Tennessee Knoxville



Rosetta was built for the 2019 FRC game, Destination Deep Space. Rosetta will be competing at The Bayou Regional as well as the Smoky Mountain Regional. Rosetta is also the first female robot for our team.


Created for Destination Deep Space


Qbit was built for the 2018 FRC game, FIRST Power Up. Qbit was a strong, defending robot designed to place power cubes into the scale and switch as well as climb. After taking the arm off, he brought us to the Alliance selections for the first time in school history, as well as being able to be an Alliance Captain.


Created for FIRST Power Up


Hurrier was built for the 2017 FRC game, FIRST STEAMworks. Hurrier was a courageous, award-winning robot designed to shoot fuel into boilers, deliver gears to airships, and climb and sustain himself on the airship rope at a height of 5 feet. With the help of Ductape and baling wire, he took the team to competitions never seen before and end his season ranking runner up in The Battle of The Bluegrass.


Created for FIRST STEAMworks

Duke of Defenses

Duke of Defenses was built for the 2016 FRC game, FIRST Stronghold. Its drivetrain utilizes four 10" wheels driven by independent CIM motors and Toughbox Mini gearboxes. Duke's wedge is designed to clear defenses and shoot boulders into the tower's high goal. The versatile drivetrain clears all terrain defenses with ease and speed.


Created for FIRST Stronghold


Calypstote was created for the 2015 FRC game, Recycle Rush. Calypstote stacks totes and recycling containers on top of elevated platforms to score points. Calypstote's arms rise up and down on linear actuators, while her elevator raises and lowers via pneumatic cylinders. Calypstote operates on a omni-wheel drive system, allowing her to strafe and move nimbly. Calypstote was dismantled in late 2015.


Created for Recycle Rush

Baron von Shrimp

Baron von Shrimp participated in Aerial Assist, the 2014 FRC game. Baron used the chassis included of the kit of parts and utilized a tank drive system. The robot's arm utilized a vacuum motor to suction the ball and a winch to pull the arm back. When the arm was pulled all the way back, a lock engaged using a pneumatics system. After releasing the winch a little, we would then disengage the vacuum motor and then the pneumatic lock to send the ball flying. Baron von Shrimp continues to be used for outreach in our community.


Created for Aerial Assist


Chair-Bot was created to show at events; it has a chair on the top for small children to ride around on. It is a retrofit of the chassis from the 2013 bot. Chair Bot is now retired.

Created for Outreach


Our 2013 robot competed in Ultimate Ascent, the 2013 game of the FIRST Robotics Competition. The robot shot frisbees into goals placed high above the field, and had the ability to climb pyramids. Frisbees were shot by running them through a channel with spinning inflatable wheels, and the robot climbed using a measuring tape system we developed. The 2013 bot was modified into Chair-Bot.

Created for Ultimate Ascent

Da Wood

Our 2012 robot competed in Rebound Rumble, the 2012 game of the FIRST Robotics Competition. The robot shot basketball into hoops placed high above the field. It shot the basketballs using spinning wheels, and balls were picked up off the ground using the pointy side of a carpet chair mat. Da Wood was dismantled in 2013.

Created for Rebound Rumble


Our Vet-Bot was the team's first creation, taken to and shown at the Veteran's Day Parade. It blinked, saluted, and turned it's head. It was built from an RC car. Vet Bot was dismantled in 2013.

Created for the Veterans Day Parade





Inskip Elementary STEM Event

Back to School Bash

KUB Robotics Showcase

Green Magnet Elementary

Upward Bound


Haunted Station

Pond Gap Elementary



Sequoyah Elementary Family Engineering Night

Veteran's Day Parade

Haunted Station

East TN STEM Hub Regional Meeting

MuSE STEAM in Market Square

UT Kid's U Program

SHADES of Development

Change Center Field

TVA Outreach

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day


Rocky Hill Elementary Science Night

UT Big Orange STEM Saturday

Knox County District Magnet Showcase

Knoxville Utilities Board

Smoky Mountains Regional Business Summit

Green Magnet Family Engineering Night

East Knox County Elementary School Tech Night

Tennessee Valley Fair

Mayor Tim Burchett's Back to School Bash

Robotics Revolution

Shades of Development

Children’s Festival of Reading

Saworks Brewing Company Robot Demo

UT Big Orange STEM Saturday

Introduce a Girl to Engineering

Vine Family Engineering Night

First Baptist Church








Imagery Award

Smoky Mountains Regional


Imagery Award

FIRST Championship

Entrepreneurship Award

Smoky Mountains Regional


Imagery Award

Miami Valley Regional


Media and Technology Award by Comcast NBCUniversal

FIRST Championship


Entrepreneurship Award

Rocket City Regional



Imagery Award

Smoky Mountains Regional


Safety Animation Award

Third Place