Los Angeles Region FIRST® LEGO® League (LAR FLL)
NOTE: This website is an archive. This website has been replaced by http://www.la-fll.org as of May 1, 2014.
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Why Volunteer? It's Fun! It's Inspiring! and it does Make a Difference. FIRST Works!
FIRST LEGO League (FLL®) is an international competition that develops critical skills in science and technology in a super-charged learning atmosphere. Teams of up to ten 9-14 year olds design, build, program and test autonomous LEGO MINDSTORMS® robots and develop solutions to real world problems based on their research and consultations with experts. Students acquire skills such as problem solving, project management, critical thinking and teamwork: skills necessary to their future and to the future of society.
During the fall 2011 FLL season, approximately 200 teams will compete an average of two times at three levels of tournaments in the Los Angeles Region. These tournaments will be held all day on Saturdays or Sundays from October 29 through December 17.
Volunteers are needed to enable more than 1,600 Southern California FLL youth to compete at tournaments and demonstrate what they have achieved!
Types of Volunteers
We need volunteers to be coaches and/or mentors for teams. Most teams meet 3-6 hours per week after school or on weekends during September, October and November. Volunteers are needed to help start new teams and to help existing teams. Each team needs at least one adult coach, but it is preferable for each FLL team to also have an assistant coach or mentor. Either adults or high school students can serve as mentors for FLL teams.
We need volunteers to recruit: Coaches, Event Hosts, Sponsors, Referees, Judges and Event Volunteers.
We need volunteers to train: Coaches, Referees, Judges and other Event Volunteers.
We need volunteers to coordinate: Exhibitions, Team Grants, Training Workshops, Event Registration, Event Payments and Public Relations.
All year, but especially in the winter and spring, we need volunteers to help recruit FLL Coaches, Event Hosts and Sponsors. Our goal is to have at least one FLL team at every elementary and middle school and at least one FLL event at every college, high school or middle school with a gym or large multipurpose room. Our most successful strategies have been to recruit school district education foundations and high school robotics teams to be FLL event hosts and to sponsor new FLL teams in their areas. Most of the schools in LAUSD and several other districts with similar demographics need major sponsors for FLL teams and events. We currently have nearly $40,000 of annual sponsorship, but it will take 100 times that much to reach our goal. We would love to get prestigious colleges such as UCLA to host FLL events. UCLA would be an ideal location for the region FLL championship tournaments if we could secure an appropriate venue on that campus.
In the summer and fall, we need volunteers to coordinate team grants, training workshops, event registration and event payments. We currently administer team grants manually with applications completed in Word, submitted via email and fax, tracked via spreadsheet, paid via Quicken, and reported to sponsors via Word. There is lots of opportunity for automation and improvement of this process. The custom system designed by FIRST for FLL event registration did not meet our needs. We used Google docs for event registration last year, and it was much better, but there was still much opportunity for improvement. Tony Ayad, who helps with event registration, recommended that we try http://www.signupgenius.com/index.cfm this year.
All year, but especially in the summer and fall, we will need volunteers to help recruit Referees, Judges and other Event Volunteers from colleges and companies. The event hosts help with this task.
We need two types of volunteers to help run tournaments in November and December. Some positions, such as Referees and Judges, require training or prior experience with FLL or other robotics tournaments. Other Event Volunteer positions do not. We are seeking adult volunteers for both types of positions, but we can also use high school students for many positions, especially if they have robotics tournament experience. Only Robot Design Judges need to have any technical knowledge about robots.
Tournament Volunteer Positions Requiring Training or Experience
Since Referees, Judges and Scorekeepers help determine which teams win awards at a tournament, volunteers for these positions should not be affiliated with any of the teams attending the tournament. Their duties at the tournament typically last all day--approximately 8 hours--and will include announcing and handing out the awards at the award ceremony. These positions require from one-half to four hours of preparation and training beforehand (self-paced materials plus a brief training session, which may be held on the morning of the event) as indicated below.
Prior experience may reduce or eliminate the amount of training required for these positions. High school students with FLL tournament experience and demonstrated maturity may be considered for positions marked "Maybe".
|Position||Training||Sharable?||High School Youth Accepted?|
|Robot Design Judges||2-3 hours||No||Maybe|
|Project Judges||1-2 hours||No||Maybe|
|Core Values Judges||1 hour||No||Maybe|
|Field Reset Crew||1/2 hour||Prefer not||Yes|
|Field Manager||1-4 hours||No||Maybe|
|Pit Manager||1-4 hours||No||Maybe|
Tournament Volunteer Positions Not Requiring Training or Experience
Some positions may be combined or eliminated at some events.
|Position||Sharable?||High School Youth Accepted?|
|Sound/Video/Light Operator||Prefer not||Yes|
|Field Queuing Manager||Yes||Prefer not|
|Judge Queuing Manager||Yes||Prefer not|
|Practice Table Monitors||Yes||Yes|
|Traffic Control & Security||Yes||Maybe|
|Field Setup Crew||Yes||Yes|
|Pit Setup Crew||Yes||Yes|
|Judging Setup Crew||Yes||Yes|
|Judging Cleanup Crew||Yes||Yes|
|Pit Cleanup Crew||Yes||Yes|
|Field Cleanup Crew||Yes||Yes|
Tournament Volunteer Job Descriptions
See the Volunteer Jobs page to select volunteer positions that interest you.
The events that need the most volunteers are the qualifying events and the championship event. Please select one or more events at which you are available to help from the FLL Events page. Volunteers interested in participating in the championship event for the first time should prepare themselves by participating in a qualifying event first if possible.
The dress code is Casual. You may be asked to wear a special shirt, which may be worn over your other clothes. Referees and emcees may be invited to wear funny hats; if you would not be comfortable wearing a funny hat, you might not be a good match for these jobs.
You will probably want to wear comfortable shoes. Judges and most other volunteers will be sitting part of the day and walking around talking / observing teams the rest of the day. Referees, emcees, field reset crew, queuing managers, scoresheet runners, and traffic control & security will be standing or walking most of the day.