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August 20, 2008

FIRST LEGO League: The Unofficial Guide--New from No Starch Press: Complete guide to the FIRST LEGO League competition

FIRST LEGO League: The Unofficial Guide San Francisco, CA—FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is an international program for kids ages 9 to 14 that combines a hands-on, interactive robotics program and research presentation with a sports-like atmosphere. It's a kind of geek Olympics for about 100,000 kids every year—a sporting event and science fair in one.

But it can be tricky to create and successfully manage a FLL team. This is not meant to be a simple competition, and fielding a team requires some serious management and plenty of work. FIRST LEGO League: The Unofficial Guide (No Starch Press, August 2008, 264 pp, ISBN 9781593271855) is the first book to offer FLL participants some guidance as they field their teams. Current and aspiring FLL participants, coaches, and teachers will find advice on how to become better competitors, builders, researchers, and team members, and they'll learn how to start and manage a team in a program that can be tricky to navigate, especially for newbies.

Written by two veteran FLL competitors, FIRST LEGO League: The Unofficial Guide is an all-in-one reference for FLL participants, from rookie coaches trying to organize new teams to veteran teams hoping for their next trophy.

"I was fortunate enough to attend the 2008 FIRST LEGO League championship in Atlanta, Georgia, and the energy surrounding the event was infectious," said No Starch Press Publisher Bill Pollock. "Anyone can start a FIRST LEGO League team, but it can be confusing to navigate the rules and procedures that govern the competition. I hope that this guide to FLL will make it a whole lot easier for people to launch their own teams."

FIRST LEGO League: The Unofficial Guide offers in-depth coverage of topics that both rookie and experienced teams will find useful, like team formation and organization; robot building and programming; and the complex structure of the FLL competition, including the Robot Game, Technical Interview, Project, and Teamwork. Using a combination of real-life stories and candid commentary from actual FLL teams, as well as recollections of their own experiences, the authors offer an abundance of helpful guidance and dependable building and programming examples.

Readers learn how to:

  • Organize, recruit, and manage a team
  • Find equipment, mentors, and funding
  • Design, build, and program winning robots
  • Tackle each of the four FLL components—from Robot Game to Teamwork
  • Use strategies and techniques from FLL masters to increase their scores

FIRST LEGO League: The Unofficial Guide is the resource FLL participants have been asking for for years—the key to competing in and enjoying the FLL competition.

For a review copy or more information please email nostarchpr@oreilly.com. Please include your delivery address and contact information.

About the Authors
James Floyd Kelly has participated in numerous FLL tournaments as both a referee and a technical judge. In 2006, he founded The NXT STEP blog, widely considered the top LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT resource on the Web. Kelly is the author of LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT: The Mayan Adventure and LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT-G Programming Guide (Apress) and a co-author of The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Idea Book (No Starch).

Jonathan Daudelin has been competing in FLL since age 13. In 2007, his team won the First Place Robot Performance and First Place Innovative Robot awards at the World Festival after their robot achieved perfect scores in all three rounds. He is a contributor to The NXT STEP blog and a co-author of The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Idea Book and The NXT Robotics Competition Workbook (self-published).

Additional Resources
Chapter 2 and excerpts from Chapters 5 and 10 (PDF)
Table of contents overview
Detailed table of contents (PDF)
Index (PDF)
Large cover image
FIRST LEGO League Official Site

FIRST LEGO League: The Unofficial Guide FIRST LEGO League: The Unofficial Guide
by James Floyd Kelly and Jonathan Daudelin
August 2008, 264 pp
ISBN 9781593271855, $29.95 USD
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938
1-707-827-7000

Available in fine bookstores everywhere, from www.oreilly.com/nostarch, or directly from No Starch Press (http://www.nostarch.com/, orders@nostarch.com, 1-800-420-7240).

About No Starch Press
Founded in 1994, No Starch Press is one of the few remaining independent computer book publishers. We publish the finest in geek entertainment—unique books on technology, with a focus on Open Source, security, hacking, programming, alternative operating systems, and LEGO. Our titles have personality, our authors are passionate, and our books tackle topics that people care about. See http://www.nostarch.com/ for more information and our complete online catalog. (And most No Starch Press books use RepKover, a lay-flat binding that won't snap shut.)

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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