Los Angeles Region FIRST® LEGO® League (LAR FLL)
The most challenging part of starting a new team is building a field table for the team to practice the robot game. Instructions for building two different versions are available on the FLL Team Resources web page. One is the standard wood table consisting of a sheet of sanded 3/8 to 1/2 plywood with kiln dried sanded 2x3 side walls. This makes a field table that is very robust but heavy and hard to transport and store.
We recommend that new teams build the lightweight portable alternative field table using rigid insulation foam board instead of wood. This field table is cheaper and easier to build, transport and store, but it needs to be handled more carefully to avoid damage. The online instructions can be simplified by using duct tape instead of wood screws and metal brackets to hold the foam insulation together until the adhesive sets. Here are the parts that you would need from Home Depot as of 9/2/13:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/202532855 - $14.95 - Bottom (cut in half): R-Tech 1-1/2 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. Foam Insulation
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/202524156 - $4.32 - Side Walls (cut six 2.5" strips lengthwise): R-Tech 1-1/2 in. x 2 ft. x 4 ft. Foam Insulation
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/202020474 - $7.34 - Adhesive: Loctite PL Premium 28 fl. oz. Polyurethane Construction Adhesive
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/203457755 - $2.70 - Bottom hinge and to hold pieces together: Duck 1.88 in. x 20 yds..Black Duct Tape
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/100577483 - $7.47 - Smooth surface (cut in half lengthwise; cover side walls and wrap around bottom):
Con-Tact 180 in. x 18 in. Black Faux Leather Drawer/Shelf Liner
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/203240686 - $7.97 - Husky Insulation Saw
James Floyd Kelly, Jonathan Daudelin. FIRST LEGO League: The Unofficial Guide. San Francisco: No Starch Press, 2008.
James Jeffrey Trobaugh. Winning Design!: LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Design Patterns for Fun and Competition. Berkeley CA: Apress, 2010.
Dave Astolfo, Mario Ferrari, Giulio Ferrari. Building Robots with LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT. Burlington MA: Syngress Publishing, 2007.
David J. Perdue, Laurens Valk. The Unofficial LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 Inventor’s Guide, 2nd ed. San Francisco: No Starch Press, 2010.
James Floyd Kelly. LEGO Mindstorms NXT-G Programming Guide, 2nd ed. Berkeley CA: Apress, 2010.
Coach Training Slides
These are the slides presented by FLL Partner LeRoy Nelson and LOL Comets coach Tony Ayad at Coach Training Workshops:
Introduction for FLL Coaches 2013 (PDF: 31 slides, 16 pages, 0.4 MB)
NXT Programming for FLL Coaches 2012 (PDF: 52 slides, 52 pages, 2.7 MB) -- Basic and Advanced
NXT Programming with Excel 2012 (PDF: 19 slides, 19 pages, 1.6 MB)
For a schedule of Coach Training Workshops, see Workshops.
A series of recorded teleconference calls and handouts about how to start and run an FLL team. A new series of calls is offered live each season between August and November. Only the Robot Game and Project change significantly from one season to the next.
TechBrick Robotics challenge worksheets and resources: http://www.techbrick.com
Robot Building Examples: http://www.nxtprograms.com and http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/fll/content.aspx?id=792
EV3 Programming Tutorials: http://www.stemcentric.com/ev3-tutorial/
NXT Programming Tutorials: http://www.catlin.edu/msrobotics/downloads or http://www.ortop.org/NXT_Tutorial/ or http://www.stemcentric.com/nxt-tutorial/
Other programming resources: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/fll/content.aspx?id=790
NXT Building Hints - Constructopedia: http://legoengineering.com/library/doc_details/150-nxt-constructopedia-beta-21.html
LEGO Parts Reference: http://www.education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/roboticscurriculum/teachertraining/legopartsreference.pdf
LEGO Engineering LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT-G Software Knowledgebase:
LEGO Engineering building and programming resources for teachers: http://legoengineering.com/building-programming.html
Robotics Curriculum from Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Academy:
Order LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Educational sets, parts and software:
Comparison of batteries and LEGO battery packs: http://philohome.com/batteries/bat.htm
Order the new EV3 Roller Wheel: http://www.legoeducation.us/eng/product/technic_ball_pivot_parts_pack/2665
Order spare LEGO parts: http://www.bricklink.com
The NXT STEP - LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Blog: http://thenxtstep.blogspot.com/
YouTube FLL videos: YouTube FLLGlobal Channel or youtube FLL search
Area code look up and map: http://www.allareacodes.com (Don't use the reverse phone look up)
Zip code look up and map: http://www.unitedstateszipcodes.org
Los Angeles Robotics (Affiliate Partner for Los Angeles Region FLL): http://larobotics.org
Southern California Regional Robotics Forum: http://larobotics.org/SCRRF.html
LEGOLAND California FLL: http://www.legoland.com/groups/education/fll.htm
California FLL: http://cafll.org
United States and Canada FLL: http://www.usfirst.org/community/fll/
International FLL: http://www.firstlegoleague.org/
FIRST Robotics: http://usfirst.org
Forms for Tournaments
See the Event Forms page for the current season.
Team Google Group
Joining this group allows coaches, mentors and other team volunteers to receive the Partner's announcements to teams. To review past announcements or to join the group, please visit
LA Region FLL Teams Google Group
Coach Training Workshops and Robotics Classes and Summer Camps
See the Events page for the current season.
Piggybackr is a free online platform that teaches young people how to fundraise. Piggybackr has helped thousands of students, including many FIRST robotics teams, fundraise tens of thousands of dollars! Here is a recent example of a successful fundraising campaign by a local FIRST Robotics Competition team: Piggybackr.com/team980.
Public school teachers can request funding for classroom projects using the DonorsChoose.org website at http://www.donorschoose.org. The organization partners with certain vendors, then purchases items selected by the teacher when the donation amount is reached. The items are then shipped to the school. It takes 45-60 minutes to complete the application process.