Arizona FIRST LEGO League
Introducing our FLL Council of Experts…
Erik Von Burg (Robot Expert) – Need help programming your EV3? Erik is your guy! With over 10 years of FLL experience, he is currently ASU’s go-to facilitator for all EV3 Coaches’ Workshops, FLL Summer Camps, and Kickoff programming workshops.
Russ, Evin, & Nic: (Community Outreach Expert Team) – If you are seeking opportunities to bring FLL to your community, these gentlemen know best. With over two decades of combined FLL experience, community service for FLL is what this team of experts is all about.
Evin: Evin has been involved with First Lego League for 8 years now. He was on a successful FLL team for 4 years, has run a scrimmage and workshop for the last 3 years, and has helped organize and run a Regional FLL tournament for the last 5 years. Besides participating, organizing, and refereeing, he has also mentored more than 10 FLL teams and loves to offer advice to many more.
Nic: Nic has been involved with First Lego League for 8 years now. He was on a successful FLL team for 4 years and has helped organize and run a Regional FLL tournament for the last 4 years. An expert on table set up and rules, Nic also mentors several FLL teams and helps with programming trouble shooting.
Russ: Russ has been an FLL Coach and Mentor for 8 years and an FRC Coach and Mentor for 5 years. Besides leading a successful team, he has run regionals, scrimmages, and worked on developing outreach opportunities all over the Phoenix area including at the Phoenix Zoo, Diamondbacks, IDEA Museum, City of Mesa, Mesa School District, and other local community events.
Susan Garduno (Fundraising Expert) – Looking to raise funds to support your FLL team? Meet Susan, a passionate FLL VISTA that has been serving the FLL and FTC 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.”
Scott Gray (Season Challenge Expert) – Since 2006, Scott been volunteering in our FLL community wearing many hats (figuratively and literally)! He started as a coach of his sons’ team that enjoyed 4 state champions’ awards, two World Festivals, and two national championships. He has since been a referee/head referee of regional and state tournaments, robotics judge, tournament organizer, scrimmage coordinator, schedule maker, and workshop instructor. This season he will subbing in for Ian Laos as state head referee. If you have questions on the field setup, rules, or want to check on the legality of some possibly iffy strategy – he is the person to ask!
Fredi Lajvardi (Tournament Expert) – Fredi started his journey into robotics by founding a STEM club at Carl Hayden High School in 1989. He built 13 full sized electric vehicles with students, and raced them across the country for 10 years, as a part of the Arcrunner Electric Vehicle Racing Team. He founded and currently runs Team 842 – FIRST Robotics, and started Falcon Robotics ROV and AUV teams. Fredi helped bring FLL to the state of Arizona and used to host the state champions until we outgrew the space. Fredi knows the ins and outs of tournament day and is a great resource for any and all things dealing with qualifiers!
Danielle Mara (Volunteer Expert) – Danielle is a former FRC participant on team #4146 for four years, and is currently a ASU student. She was the tournament director and volunteer coordinator for the Scottsdale Qualifier in 2014 and 2015. She was awarded the Outstanding Volunteer of the year at the 2015 AZ FLL State Championship and is very excited to be in charge of Volunteer Coordination for FLL!
Mark Pond (Coaching Expert) – Mark began coaching FLL 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.”
Eric Scheidemandel (Scrimmage Expert) – Eric has been involved in FLL since 2006. He coached teams that won several state tournaments and competed in two FLL World Festivals in Atlanta. He has mentored multiple FLL teams at Oakwood Elementary since 2010, where he has hosted the Oakwood Scrimmage for several years. He also helped teach a session on intermediate LEGO robotics at the ASU FLL Kickoff in 2011.
Team 1165 Paradise Valley FRC (FLL Rookie Team Hotline) – New to FLL? Looking for some advice? Look no further! Paradise Valley Team 1165 is here to help. Feel free to reach out to them with all of your new-to-FLL questions. They have plenty of resources for new teams and would be happy to help.
To everyone on our panel, and all of you in the FLL Community – thank you a million times for all that you do to keep FLL thriving in Arizona. We couldn’t do it without you, and together we can change lives!