“Listen. In order to maintain air-speed velocity, a swallow needs to beat its wings forty-three times every second, right?”– Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Established in 2006, The Barstow Kuhnigits are based in Kansas City, MO, at The Barstow School. A product of our small school setting, the team is very close-knit, sharing in a deep sense of family and community. Currently in the 2012 season, Rebound Rumble, we are composed mostly of freshmen and sophomores. We also have juniors on our FIRST team, but there currently are no seniors participating. Several international students have signed up on the FIRST team, and they have been a great source of perspective.

To begin, let us explain where our name comes from. In the 1974 film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, we follow King Arthur and his not-so valiant knights across Camelot. In one particular scene, a French castle guard calls the Knights “Kuhnigits.” Seeing as the Knight is the school mascot of Barstow and the team’s love of Monty Python, the choice of the Kuhnigits was an obvious decision. Another staple of the English laughfest, the killer rabbit, was adopted as the mascot of the budding team.

Many members of our team have other activities that they do as well as participate in the FIRST team. We have some amazing debaters as crucial parts of our FIRST team. Other members take part in our school musicals and plays.

We like to help other teams.  Some of our team leaders spend hours coaching other teams, either through ChiefDelphi or through one of the various community outreach programs we’re involved in. In addition, we also do demonstrations around the community to educate the surrounding populous on STEM education and robotics and actively assist in the Barstow School’s FIRST Lego League team.  We have also earned several awards, including the Coopertition Award, the Imagery Award and Finalist medals and trophies from the Kansas City Regional and the Oklahoma City Regional.







Rank 2 with a record of 12-4-1 and won the following awards:

  • Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen


Rank 2 with a record of 13-3-0 and won the following awards:

  • Regional Finalists

  • Quality Award sponsored by Motorola

  • Wild Card



Rank 20 with a record of 5-4-0


Team 1939 was Rank 4 with a record of 11-2-0 and won the following awards:

  • Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen




Dean’s List inductee: Austin Abitz, ’11.

Imagery Award – Minnesota North Star

Imagery Award – Kansas City Regional

Finalist – Kansas City Regional

Best Dressed Team Award – CowTown ThrowDown


Finalist - Oklahoma City Regional

Coopertition Award – Oklahoma City Regional

Quality Award – Oklahoma City Regional


Engineering Inspiration Award – Greater Kansas City Regional


Chrysler Team Spirit Award – Greater Kansas City Regional

Best Dressed Team Award – CowTown ThrowDown



Team Mentors

Gavin Wood - Team Coach

Craig Cunningham - Assistant Coach

Andy Shimamoto - Resident math geek and analyst of all things 

Matt Thurman - Mathematics Teacher, mentor 

Erik Heitmann - Mechanical Engineer, mentor

Brandon Huizenga - Problem solver, geeks out with Andy, mechanical mentor 

Paul Rupp - Mechanical Engineer and race car enthusiast

Norbert Russ - Electrical and Mechanical genius and resident tightener of things.

Linda Olson - Electrical Engineer and Planning