New FRC team in Inglewood, CA?

Hi all,

I teach Algebra 1 and Physics at Animo Inglewood Charter High (in Inglewood, CA), and some students there are interested in starting a FIRST team. At the moment, I have a solid group of students who are very excited and driven, but not much else. Administration is generally supportive, but they only learned what FIRST is a few days ago. I was on a FIRST team in Ohio (1014) in high school, and then mentored that same team through four years of college at Ohio State, so I’m not completely clueless on how to run a team. However, my knowledge on starting a new team and being in charge of a FIRST team in general is a little fuzzy.

What I know:
Start-up costs are high. We’ll want a NASA grant.
I need 15-30 students.
We need sponsors.
We need a place to work.
We need parent support.
We need admin support.
We need veteran teams to help us!
Another faculty adviser so I can sleep during the build season.
What a successful FIRST team looks like and does

What I don’t know:
How to find sponsors/a place to work.
What veteran teams there are in the SoCal area and what the FIRST culture is like here.
Anything about wiring (ok I can solder, but I don’t know what to solder where!)
How to register . . .
Programming (as in, I’ve programmed before, but not for FIRST)

Any advice from you veterans out there? Anybody in SoCal want to help us out?


Good luck, and we hope to see you excel!

Hi Kevin,

I’ll try to address some of those questions that you had.

  1. Sponsors. The NASA grant will be a great start, the paperwork can be used for showing big corporations your goals. I’d hit up the local defense contractors (Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Aerospace Corp, etc). Also don’t forget to hit up local restaurants, I’m sure they’d be willing to donate a meal or two during build season. For more information on putting together a sponsor packet, visit FIRST NEMO (

  2. Veteran teams. Lots of teams in the area, get in touch with Nancy McIntyre (Senior Mentor). 294, 330, 207, 1197 all are here. I’m sure many would be willing to help mentor a rookie team. So Cal FIRST is fairly spread out, which tends to limit collaborations, but the engineering experience of the teams is very strong.

  3. Mentors in stuff you don’t know. Lots of retired engineers around here would love to have a weekend project. Get in touch with defense retiree groups.

  4. Other stuff. Feel free to contact me, I’m from the LA area but work in Irvine. I’m usually traveling between Irvine, LA, and San Diego fairly frequently to work with teams and help at competitions, I’d be happy to meet and try to answer any questions, or help your students off to the right track.

Incidentally on that note, I’d encourage your students to go to some other competitions to see what they’re like. Unfortunately, the closest one to you, SCRRF Fall Classic, just happened. SD’s Battle at the Border is the next closest, and is Oct 15th.

You mentioned 330–the OP would do well to contact CD user ChrisH, of 330. 1717 is a bit out of range for direct mentoring (Inglewood being a couple hours away from the Santa Barbara area).

294 also would be an excellent mentor team.

There is (was?) a team or two in Inglewood currently; I forget their numbers. Crenshaw High School has one; I think there’s another team at another school. I just haven’t been actively involved in the area lately.

As for another veteran team, try the Nerd Herd ( out of CAMS @ CSU Dominguez Hills. They gave us a nice CD full of all their team materials at the last LA Regional.

Team 207 is about as close as you can get. Email me and I will send you my contact info. We are open to any help you might need.

[email protected]


Check your email :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the advice in general, guys. I’m currently contacting many of the teams you’ve told me to contact, and the other info will be good when I talk to admin later this week.

I was talking with ChrisH by phone earlier (drawing his attention to this thread) and he mentioned one thing that you’ll probably want to mark your calendar for:

SCRRF Fall Workshops.

I don’t know the date, but it’s a day full of workshops on various things–say, wiring and programming a robot, sponsorship hunting, various subsystems, you get the picture. If you’re anywhere near up and running as a team, go if at all possible.

The 2001 SCRRF Fall Workshops are scheduled for November 5 at Cal State-Northridge.

Registration for this half-day event just opened: $50/team (limited to 50 teams). Students and mentors are welcome to attend multiple sessions covering subjects like robot programming, CAD, systems engineering, fundraising, strategy,…

Registration and more information can be found here.

Both rookie and veteran teams benefit immensely from this workshop.

Plan to attend!!