Welcome to the main information page for the Los Altos Robotics First Lego League (FLL) program. On this page you will find:

Los Altos Robotics FIRST Lego League 2008 Calendar

May - Sep. 30, 2008 National FLL Team Registration period for all teams, including all Los Altos Robotics teams. Register in early August to get your materials in time for the start of the season.
August 8 - ~September 15, 2008 Los Altos Robotics FLL Registration period. Registration slots are limited. Registation will close if all slots are filled.
August 1, 2008 Robot sets begin to ship to teams registered with National FLL
August 1, 2008 Challenge Sets begin to ship
Tue, September 2, 2008, 7:30PM Los Altos Robotics parent orientation meeting at Oak school multipurpose room
September 5, 2008, 9AM PDT Climate Connections Challenge announced. Most teams start practices this week.
September 8, 2008 Target date for parents to have their team formed and coaches identified.
Sun, September 14, 2008, 3-6 PM Coaches meeting (3:00 - 4:30, mandatory) and training (4:30 - 6:00, optional) at Oak school multipurpose room. Sponsored by Los Altos Robotics. Click here for more information.
September 30, 2008 Deadline for Los Altos Robotics team fee payment, including all t-shirt orders. This applies to all teams who want to participate in the Los Altos Robotics Scrimmage on Oct 26 and the Local Tournament on Nov 23
September 30, 2008 Team Registration closes at the national level (or earlier if slots are filled)
Sun, October 26, 2008 Los Altos Scrimmage at Blach School from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM.
Sun, November 23, 2008 Los Altos Local Competition Blach school from 1:00 PM until 6:00 PM.
January, 2009 (tentative) Northern California FLL State Competition. Find out more about it and other Regional/Qualifying FLL Tournatments at the Northern California FIRST LEGO League website.

Overview Documents

The 2007 Los Altos Robotics FLL Announcement Flyer is a good 1-page flyer with a brief description and schedule. Feel free to distribute it to anyone you think might be interested in the program. Many Los Altos schools distribute this flyer in their office.

The 2007 Los Altos Robotics FLL Parent Orientation Presentation is a 20+ page presentation that describes the program in Los Altos and gives tips on how to form teams. This is a good place to start if you are new to FLL.

Brief Description of FLL

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), and LEGO® MINDSTORMSTM have joined forces to bring you the FIRST LEGO League (FLL). This exciting, new program introduces kids ages 9-14 to the wonders of science, math and technology in a fun and engaging way.

An extension of the High School Robotics Competition, FLL pairs an academic challenge with a sports-like playing field where kids invent autonomous robots. Using the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robotics Invention System, teams of students, teachers, coaches, and parents receive a Challenge which is different every year. Each team is then responsible for the design, construction, programming, and testing of their robot to compete in the Challenge.

The brain of a LEGO MINDSTORMS robot is a micro-computer mounted inside a super-sized LEGO brick. This is called the NXT.

The LEGO MINDSTORMS Robotics Invention Challenge Kit includes an NXT brick, over 700 LEGO pieces, motors, light and touch sensors, gears, a CD-ROM including the NXT code programming environment, and a USB cable to download the program directly into the NXT on a robot.

Starting Your Own Team

Starting teams is an important part of the Los Altos Robotics program. The following documents provide a wealth of information for forming a new team. You do not need to be a technology person to form a robotics team with your child. However, you do need to be dedicated, read the coaching documents that are provided, allocate enough time with kids, and be ready to do a bit of homework. If you, or one of the parents who is helping, can install computer games and get them working when there are minor problems, then you know enough technology to help the kids in case something breaks.

Start by reading Participating in Los Altos Robotics FLL. This page gives instructions specific to starting a team and participating in the Los Altos Robotics league. Then look at:

Useful Los Altos Robotics FLL pages

  • FIRST LEGO League Registration FAQ: Answers to the common registration questions that have been sent to Michael Schuh.  Please try checking here before emailing.   You might quickly find your answer.
  • Team Resources such as the Los Altos Robotics Flier and presentations from the Los Altos Robotics Orientation and Coaches Training are archived available. These are the materials that we have created to help people understand the program and form and have better teams.
  • Through the years, Michael Schuh has collected FLL Programming and Design Suggestions and has archived them for all to use.
  • FIRST LEGO League Simple Playing Field Design: Tells about how we have built playing fields for the teams.
  • Competition Results and Files is where you will find the scoring results from past years Los Altos FLL competitions. Also included are the Excel scorring spread sheets and PowerPoint certificate files used in the competitions.

Helping Out

It takes a lot of people to help us run the teams and make the tournament a success. We will need help again this year. Please help out however you can and in whatever way is satisfying and fun for you.

  • Teams need Team Coach(1), Assistant Coach(1-2), Team Manager(1), and a Practice Session Host (provide a large room for the team meetings).
  • The tournament opportunities page is where you can learn about how you can help out at a Scrimmage and/or Local Competition. Each team is expected to provide a volunteer for each of the events the team participates in.
  • The Board of Directors has open positions and the people currently holding positions can use some help. Come join us at a Board meeting to see how you can participate! Check the Board of Directors page to see a list of Board members and position, and a schedule of future board meetings.

For More Information

Change Log

09 Oct '05 Added Help section, Schuh.
11 Sep '05 Added in short More Info section and reorderd the Quick Index, Schuh.
21 Aug '05 Added Resources Area description and link, Schuh.
01 Aug '05 Updated for 2005
09 Aug '06 Updated for 2006, Macaluso & Schuh
01 Aug '08 Updated for 2008, Murray