Nelson Team Grants

Nelson Team Grant Recipients: Lists and Maps
Nelson Team Grant LAUSD VEX IQ Leagues and Workshops: Schedules and Links
Nelson Team Grant Coach Training Handouts
Nelson Team Grant Sponsors

Nelson Team Grants seek to enable Title I and STEM-focused elementary and middle schools (grades 4-8) in the Los Angeles area (especially LAUSD) to start teams to participate in the VEX IQ Challenge robotics program. Our goal is to inspire students to pursue STEM degrees and careers. We provide schools with the resources needed to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Two-Team Award

For 2019 and 2020, Nelson Team Grants is combining resources with the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation (REC Foundation) to start 2-4 new leagues and two teams at each of 34-58 new participating schools each year. 2019 Nelson Team Grants will provide Two-Team Award recipients with the following equipment (total cost: $1,260 plus tax) plus the first-year team registration fees ($250) to start two VEX IQ Challenge teams:

 #   Items for Two-Team Award Total Nelson
 Team Grant 
REC
 Foundation 
 2  VEX IQ Challenge Team Registrations $250  $250   
 2  VEX IQ Super Kits $660  $330 $330 
 2  VEX IQ Competition Add-on Kits $200  $100  $100 
 1  VEX IQ Foundation Add-on Kit $80  $80   
 1  Extra VEX IQ Robot Battery $20  $20   
 1  VEX IQ Challenge Full Field Perimeter
 & Tiles
$200  $200   
 1  VEX IQ Challenge Full Field & Game
 Elements Kit
$100 $100   
   Participating School Total  $1,510  $1,080  $430 

Schools that receive Two-Team Awards are required to register two VEX IQ Challenge teams ($250 registration fees paid by grant the first year) and to register those teams for and to attend an official event (typical fees $300) each year. Schools that receive Two-Team Awards should plan to spend $300 the first year for event registrations and $750 each subsequent year for team registrations ($250), event registrations ($300), field and game element kit ($100), and for additional robot parts ($100). The recommended size of each team is 3-6 students the first year and up to 12 students each subsequent year.

One-Team Award

Schools that cannot afford the annual expenses of the Two-Team Award can apply for a One-Team Award instead. Schools will only be considered for One-Team Awards after 34 schools have been approved for Two-Team Awards. 2019 Nelson Team Grants will provide One-Team Award recipients with the following equipment (total cost: $830 plus tax) plus the first-year team registration fee ($150) to start one VEX IQ Challenge team:

 #   Items for One-Team Award  Nelson Team Grant 
 1  VEX IQ Challenge Team Registrations $150 
 1  VEX IQ Super Kits $330 
 1  VEX IQ Competition Add-on Kits $100 
 1  VEX IQ Foundation Add-on Kit $80 
 1  Extra VEX IQ Robot Battery $20 
 1  VEX IQ Challenge Full Field Perimeter & Tiles $200 
 1  VEX IQ Challenge Full Field & Game Elements Kit  $100 
   Participating School Total  $980 

Schools that receive One-Team Awards are required to register one VEX IQ Challenge team ($150 registration fee paid by grant the first year) and to register that team for and to attend an official event (typical fee $150) each year. Schools that receive One-Team Awards should plan to spend $150 the first year for event registration and $450 each subsequent year for team registration ($150), event registration ($150), field and game element kit ($100), and for additional robot parts ($50). The recommended team size is 3-6 students the first year and up to 12 students each subsequent year.

2019 Nelson Team Grant Process

  • School submits Nelson Team Grant application.
  • LeRoy Nelson notifies school of decision.
  • After May 1, LeRoy sends approved schools instructions to register team(s).
  • School registers team(s) and team contacts. No payment or student names are needed.
  • School forwards team registration order confirmation email to LeRoy.
  • LeRoy pays the team registration fee(s) for one or two first-year teams.
  • A small box containing a Team Welcome Kit should arrive approximately one week later.
  • One or more coaches attend a Coach Basic Training session.
    • Training provided by LeRoy Nelson and experienced coaches.
    • Covers robot building, programming, and team logistics.
    • No prior robotics or technical experience is required to be a VEX IQ coach.
    • VEX IQ Super Kits will be provided for the training.
    • Coaches bring a portable computer (Windows, MacBook, iPad, or Chromebook) that the team can use.
    • Coaches need to know how to use a computer browser, preferably Chrome.
    • Everything else that coaches need to know will be covered at this training.
    • Offered the week after school ends and the week before school starts.
    • Additional sessions may be scheduled if needed. Next date: Saturday, September 21.
    • Attendance is optional for coaches with experience at another school or for coaches that attended similar training. Discuss with LeRoy.
    • New schools may receive some VEX IQ equipment after this training.
  • Coaches that attended Coach Basic Training may attend Coach Advanced Training.
    • Training provided by REC Foundation trainers and LeRoy Nelson.
    • Coaches that attended Coach Basic Training may attend this training.
    • Coaches with experience coaching robotics teams may attend this training.
    • VEX IQ Super Kits will be provided for the training.
    • Offered the week before school starts.
  • In August, LeRoy orders additional VEX IQ robot equipment, full field, and game kits for schools with trained coaches and registered teams. The complete equipment order ships in 6-8 boxes that weigh a total of 70-90 pounds. Some equipment may be shipped directly to schools, and the rest will be distributed to coaches after Coach Basic Training.
  • LeRoy sends school shipping confirmations, How to Start and Organize a VEX IQ Challenge Team (PDF), and Frequently Asked Questions (PDF).
  • School organizes team(s) to learn how to build and program VEX IQ robots.
  • LeRoy works with Local Districts to organize and post leagues for local schools to attend.
  • LeRoy sends school instructions to register teams(s) for leagues and other events.
  • School registers team(s) for at least one official event (league or tournament).
  • School forwards event registration order confirmation(s) to LeRoy.
  • Team attends event(s).
  • Top teams qualify for State Championships, U.S. Open Championship, and/or VEX World Championships.

Nelson Team Grant Agreement

If my school receives a Nelson Team Grant, I understand that my school will have use of the provided robotics equipment for as long as my team fulfills the conditions listed below. A new VEX IQ Challenge season starts after the VEX Robotics World Championships at the end of April each year.

  • The coaches/mentors and administration at my school support creating a sustainable VEX IQ Challenge program.
  • The robotics equipment will be stored in a safe, clean location.
  • The robotics equipment will be used for official VEX IQ Challenge events or activities each season.
  • My team will complete and pay team registration each season (paid by the grant the first year).
  • My team will register for and will attend at least one official event each season.
  • My team will participate in post-season surveys to assure that the above conditions have been fulfilled.

In the future, if my team no longer fulfills the conditions listed above, I will return the robotics equipment so that it can be made available to another school.

2019 Nelson Team Grant Application

2019 Nelson Team Grant Application (Word document, 4 pages, 41 KB, updated August 23)

This application should be signed by a school administrator, preferably by the Principal.
Please scan and email the signed application to LeRoy@LARobotics.org.
Applications are due by Friday, August 30, 2019.

2019-2020 VEX IQ Challenge Squared Away

2019 Nelson Team Grants: 47 Recipient Schools, 86 New Teams, 10 Leagues

2018-2019 VEX IQ Challenge Next Level

2018 Nelson Team Grants: 132 Recipient Schools, 9 Leagues

2017-2018 VEX IQ Challenge Ringmaster

2017 Nelson Team Grants: 68 Recipient Schools, 5 Leagues

2016-2017 VEX IQ Challenge Crossover

2016 Nelson Team Grants: 16 Recipient Schools, 2 Leagues

2015-2016 VEX IQ Challenge Bank Shot

2015 Nelson Team Grants: 19 Recipient Schools, 1 League

Never Give Up: The Journey of Bassett Robotics

Inspiring video about how the robotics team from Bassett Street Elementary School
made it to the State Championships and VEX World Championships their second year.

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

LeRoy Nelson, Treasurer
Los Angeles Robotics
1457 3rd St
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

E-mail: LeRoy@LARobotics.org
Mobile phone: (310) 529-4637
Home office phone: (310) 937-7226