top of page

About Us

What we do:

Bit Buckets Robotics is a community-based high-school STEM team that competes in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). Our team is student run - in addition to building robots our students learn key skills in fundraising, event coordination, public relations, and most importantly, leadership and teamwork.

Who are we:

Our students come from many schools in the greater Tucson area. Our wonderful mentors and volunteers come from diverse backgrounds to support the team in engineering and business aspects. Bit Buckets Robotics is a project of Jackalope Science, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit in Arizona.


Our Mission is to motivate students with opportunities to solve realistic engineering problems. We envision a world where students are motivated to build productive relationships while responsibly applying knowledge through respect, leadership, and teamwork.

Our History

The Bit Buckets were started in 2010 by Grant Emendorfer and Van Phu, two students at BASIS Tucson High School. They wanted to begin a robotics team in order to complement the more theoretical learning at BASIS, and spent the 2010-2011 school year fundraising so that they could start a Vex Robotics team. Unfortunately, by the time they acquired enough money, the Vex season was over, and they registered for the FIRST Robotics Competition the following year instead. 


The following year, Terry Nordbrock and David Forbes joined the efforts becoming founding mentors. Because BASIS lacked the environment required to adequately support and maintain a robotics team, they met at the Physics Factory at the Boys and Girls Club. Because of lack of financial autonomy, the team decided to become a community team the following year. The Bit Buckets qualified for the World Championship Competition their rookie year through the Rookie All Star Award, and they were chosen for an alliance at both of their regionals.


In 2013-2014, Xerocraft Hackerspace relocated to Steinfeld Warehouse, funded by a grant from the city. The Mayor came on opening day - and cut the steel ribbon with an angle grinder. The Bit Buckets helped remodel the warehouse. With the reopening of Xerocraft, the Bit Buckets saw a more permanent location complete with a woodshop, metalshop, and classrooms. To this day, the Bit Buckets still operate out of Xerocraft. 


The team won its first and only competition in 2015, earning a spot at the World Championship. While the team had some mentor turnover, there was constant growth throughout the 2010s. Following the pandemic, a mostly brand-new, ambitious team emerged. Steadily recovering from the pandemic, the Bit Buckets have found success as regional finalists in 2022. Along with growing technical prowess, the team has begun expanding its outreach to expand our role in our local Tucson community and beyond. Spanning six high schools and some homeschool students, the Bit Buckets is truly a diverse community team.

bottom of page