Southside Automated Machines -- SAM Team

Help boost K-12 science, math, and computer education. Donate your obsolete Android phone to us (see below)! We promise to put it to good use in a classroom.


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Greenville, SC


Home of Southside Automated Machines--The SAM Team

What is the SAM Team?

The Southside Automated Machines SAM Team is Southside High School's award-winning extra-curricular Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, (STEM) and Computer Science club.

Although SAM Team members have been a major force in our regional science fair,  we're not about competitions. We're about inventing, designing, and building useful devices that give students real world experience in the innovation process.

We have worked on may robotics projects but are not actually a robotics team. We work on a diversity of projects that depend on the funding and interests of the moment.

SAM Team is an extension of our classrooms. Although actual construction takes place as an extra-curricular activity, SAM projects are also pursued and discussed in the classroom whenever it relates to the curriculum. SAM project help show students how their classroom knowledge can actually be applied.


Some SAM Team History

The team got its start in the 2004-2005 school year thanks to a $10,000 grant from LemelsonMIT to use for building a prototype stair climbing robot designed to carry firefighting equipment. The inspiration for the project came from images of firefighter trekking upstairs laden with equipment following the 9-11 attacks on the Twin Towers.

Over the years, the SAM Team has designed and built numerous projects including: SAM Jr.--a desktop computer/robot that drives itself around, WindSAM--a 22 ft long wind tunnel (the giant orange object in many of our pictures), and TeleSAM--a mini radio telescope.

As you may have noticed, all our projects are called SAMs in honor of the team's name. Our  trademark logo is a representation of one of the tri-wheels used on FireSAM, the original robot that got us started.

In the spring of 2011, thanks to the generous donation of several G1 Android phones, our IB Computer Science students (one to two years of computer science beyond AP Computer Science) began programming them. This has led into our latest venture, the AndSAM project--an effort to bring Android phones into STEM and computer science classes as tools for learning.


Who is the SAM Team?

Over the years, the SAM team has included students from over a dozen different countries representing every continent except Australia and Antarctica. It has been and continues to a highly diverse group that reflects the diverse nature of the Southside High School.

The SAM team brings this highly diverse group of students, from many different backgrounds and cultures, together in a common purpose.

SAM Sr. with girls

While the group typically has more guys than gals, as can be seen from the picture, many young women also participate.


The SAM Team's Mission Statement

  • To experience and better understand the innovation process--the type that might be used for a business start up--by developing new 21st century technology for STEM and Computer Science classrooms and other useful applications as they are identified.
  • To increase the knowledge, technical skills, and practical experience of its members in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and Computer Science related disciplines.
  • To use this experience for promoting STEM and Computer Science learning activities beyond our classrooms through presentations, web pages, and other forms of outreach.
footer Sam Team
Android Phone Donations
When your Android phone contract runs out and you want to upgrade, please consider donating the old one to us. To donate an Android contact Tom Rogers at We promise to put you donated phone to good use in both our computer science and physics our class rooms (see possible application at right).

AndSAM Project | SAM Team | IB Comp Sci Android | AP Comp Sci