About the Team

Team 5499 started as the robotics club at Berkeley High School, competing in the Pioneers in Engineering Robotics Competition hosted by UC Berkeley. In 2014, the team was a Finalist in the PiE Robotics Competition and was awarded the Engineering Professionalism Award, PiE’s most prestigious award.

In 2015, the Team decided to expand and enter the FIRST Robotics Competition. Together, Boris Fedorov, Samuel Gessow, William Hurley, Ian Kidder, Kailash Lakireddy, and Irina Lavryonova founded Team 5499. Their hard work paid off as they were the second highest ranked rookie team at the Silicon Valley Regional. That year, Team 5499 also won the Most Improved Team Award at Chezy Champs, an offseason FRC event. In 2016, Team 5499 made it to the quarter finals at the Idaho Regional, and competed in the Newton Division at the FRC World Championship.

In fall 2016, Team 5499 began to receive support from BHS; before this, it was largely independent. However, the team found that its goals did not align with those of the school and decided to return to its original ways as a community team.

Although it was full of change, 2017 was ultimately a successful season. Team 5499 made it to the semifinals at the San Francisco Regional, winning the Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors. At the Idaho Regional, Team 5499 was the captain of the winning alliance and won the Quality Award sponsored by Motorola. Finally, at the 2017 FRC Houston Championship, Team 5499 won the Roebling division and went on to win the entire event.

What makes us different?

Team 5499 is a community robotics team that is not associated with any high schools. We are able to provide unique opportunities to students in a socioeconomically diverse community, regardless of where they live or go to school. In addition, the team is uniquely student driven. Every project is orchestrated and executed by students, with mentors involved only to guide us in the right direction. This culture maximizes students’ learning and embodies the values of FIRST.

Our Mission

To provide all students in our community with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and knowledge in STEM, leadership, and finance through training for and participation in competitions.


Lead Mentors:
Boris Fedorov, Connor Worley

Kailash Lakireddy, Jose Santos, Kelly Scheurer, Rachel Lim, Randy Lam

Student Leadership

Team Captain:
Zoe McDonald

Controls Lead:
Andy Cate

Fabrication Lead:
Thomas Laurent

CAD Lead:
Ely Feldsher