Arizona FIRST LEGO League

FIRST LEGO League's three divisions inspire youth to experiment and grow their critical thinking, coding, and design skills through hands-on STEM learning and robotics.

Arizona FIRST® LEGO® Coaching Support Team

The FIRST LEGO League Council of Experts is here to answer your questions! These volunteers specialize in everything from engineering your robot to preparing for competition day. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to these individuals or teams. To everyone on our panel, and all of you in the FIRST LEGO League Community – thank you a million times for all that you do to keep FIRST LEGO League thriving in Arizona. We couldn’t do it without you, and together we can change lives!

Rich Gomez

Lead Referee, azfirst.referee@earthlink.net

Have any questions about this year’s robot game challenge? Are you a referee needing clarification on a mission? Rich Gomez, a veteran with FIRST for over a decade and our head referee for the state, can help!

Nancy Okabe

Lead Judge Advisor nokabe1@cox.net

Nancy Okabe, our regional lead judge advisor, can help with any and every question you may have about the judging process in FIRST LEGO League.

Susan Garduño

Fundraising Expert sgarduno@firstinspires.org

Looking to raise funds to support your FLL team? Meet Susan, a passionate FIRST Senior Mentor that has been serving the FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge communities for years. According to Susan, “Fundraising makes me happy. I specialize in In-Kind donations and sponsorship. I like to think outside of the box while fundraising.”

Mark Pond

Coaching Expert mgp.pondx3@cox.net

Mark began coaching FIRST LEGO League in 2012 with an all-girls team in Mesa. Over their four years, they earned trophies for Core Values, Inspiration, First Place Robot Game, Second Place State Tournament, and were invited to the Open at Legoland. In 2014, he was awarded Coach of the Year for the Red Mountain Qualifier Tournament. According to Mark, “My objective as a member of the Council is to provide any help I can with team management, strategies, and some tips for robot and attachment design. Arizona has some great FLL teams and I hope we can continue the tradition.”

Meshach Samuel (Sam)

Coding Expert mclemen9@asu.edu

Need any Help with Coding your Robots? As a former Coding Lead for the SWA RoboKnights FLL Team, Sam can help teams with coding difficulties teams face during their preparation for the tournament.