FIRST Team 5985

FIRST Team 5985, Project Bucephalus, is an Australian team that competes in the FIRST Robotics Competition.

Create Opportunity; Transform the Community!


What is 5985?


FRC Team 5985 is an independent, community team based in the city of Wollongong, NSW. The team is open to all students from any school, and also includes a sizeable contingent of home-schooled students.

The team first came together to play FIRST Stronghold in 2016, with 17 students and 7 mentors gathering for their rookie year. By 2024, the team has grown to 44 students from 19 High Schools and 17 mentors.



5985 welcomes all, and the open nature of the team is reflected in its makeup:

  • 5985 takes pride in achieving over a 50% female membership, balanced throughout all leadership and operations aspects of the team.
  • Team members come from all academic backgrounds, including Public, Private, Selective and Home-Schooled students.
  • The team structure prevents money being an obstacle to individual participation. As a result, students come from all financial backgrounds and work hard to fund their team.
  • Through Support and Education, 5985 provides an environment that allows students with mental, emotional and physical challenges to thrive.
  • Whilst FRC is aimed at students of high-school age, mentors can be of any age. 5985 mentors include team alumni and range from University students to retired engineers!



From a background of shoestring budgets, hand-tools and recycled parts 5985 has risen to become an award-winning team in both Australian and International competition. Reflecting that FRC is “more than robots” many of these awards are built on the team’s work in education and outreach. The team takes great pride in:

  • Being named Impact Award Finalists at the 2023 and 2024 FIRST World Championships.
  • Winning the Engineering Inspiration award for the Turing Division at the 2022 FIRST World Championships.
  • Receiving the Regional Chairman’s Award (the highest award in FIRST) seven times in the eight years we have been eligible. In 2023, this was renamed to the Impact Award.
  • Being captain of the winning alliance at two Australian Regionals.
  • Three mentors with the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award
  • Six students nominated as Dean’s List Finalists, with one named as an awardee at the FIRST World Championships!
  • Multiple awards for Entrepreneurship and Design

A full list of 5985 achievements (including our Chairman’s Videos) can be found in our Team History, or by visiting the 5985 history on The Blue Alliance.



5985 is a team of teachers, with students providing STEM education to children and adults around the world. Our Teaching Program is extensive – every day of the school week, at least one 5985-taught class is in session! This program has reached nearly 8,000 students since 2015.

The Teaching program includes special programs to fill gaps in STEM opportunity. These include:

  • Rocketing Girls Into Robotics: a free robotics class run by girls, for girls.
  • Unlimited: a grant-driven program that allows Project Bucephalus to run LEGO robotics classes in Special Education classes and Schools across the Illawarra and Southern Highlands.
  • Unstoppable: a partnership with The Flagstaff Group and Flametree to deliver a fully-funded FRC program to students for whom this would normally be inaccessible.
  • FIRST Scouts: working with Scouts Australia to add a STEM component to the Youth Program, particularly via participation in the FIRST LEGO League.



From beaches to the bush and pre-schools to nursing homes, 5985 creates STEM opportunity and education. The team has run hundreds of hours of displays and demonstrations across NSW. Contact Us if you have an idea of an event where we could appear!



5985 has adopted the ethos of Dean Kamen (founder of FIRST) “It’s not about the robots. We’re not using kids to build robots—we’re using robots to build kids.” 

When joining 5985, students are welcomed into a group of their peers with a goal of encouragement and improvement. To many, the workshop becomes the place where they feel safe and happy – and are then free to achieve great things.

In this team, the ultimate success is judged by the positive effect on the students as we build capabilities and careers. 100% of 5985 alumni have gone on to tertiary education, taking up STEM degrees at University or TAFE or starting Engineering cadetships. Many of these students would never have considered STEM as a career before joining the team.