Friday, October 2, 2015
The 2016 FIRST® Technology Challenge (FTC) “RES-Q” theme was revealed on Saturday, Sept. 12. In anticipation of the competition this winter, a group of students from various FTC teams inspects the incline obstacle their robots will need to climb.


(Dix Hills, NY) — Half Hollow Hills High School East was abuzz with excitement as FIRST® Technology Challenge (FTC) representative Sam Alexander unveiled this year’s theme, FIRST RES-Q, to a crowd of high school students and their parents and coaches. As part of the kickoff event, Alexander showed a game reveal video detailing the objectives of the upcoming 2016 Challenge.

This annual competition, organized by the FTC robotics program, puts each team’s robot in a (sometimes literally) head-to-head bracketed competition. At the event, robots are randomly assigned to compete together in the first round and re-assigned as the competition progresses, instantly turning foes into friends. This style of competition further emphasizes FIRST’s commitment to building values such as “coopertition” and respect.

During the competition, robots are expected to accomplish several tasks, each of which is assigned a certain point value — the more difficult a mission, the more points are awarded. Tasks for “RES-Q” include dropping plastic pieces of debris into buckets just outside the arena, knocking a plastic man down a zip line into a bucket, climbing to various heights on a ramp called the “mountain” and hanging from a bar at the top of said incline, all before the timer runs out. Teams also receive points for robots that are partially or fully on the “mountain” when the game is finished, but points will be deducted for any robot that blocks or sabotages its adversaries. Mr. Alexander explained that this highlights one of FIRST’s other pillars, “gracious professionalism.”

“One of the intentions of the competition is to promote teamwork over competition,” says School-Business Partnerships of LI, Inc. (SBPLI) FTC Director Chris Early. “There are many unique aspects of this game that promote gracious professionalism.”

Those interested in learning more about the game were then invited to investigate a demo of the arena set up with debris scattered around the field and “mountains” in opposite corners, with dividing blue and red team lines running down the center of the arena.

Workshops led by students followed the Game Reveal presentation. New York University student Reeshabh Agramal showed off an App Inventor designed by a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). High school students Stefano Agrotis and Lauren Tucker presented classes focused on Android app coding and a computer program called Engineering Notebook, respectively.

For more information, visit: www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc.




*** Photo is attached and available upon request.


About School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc.
School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI) was founded in 1984 by Fred Breithut with the goal of developing partnerships between local high schools and businesses that would provide students with practical experience and curriculum development, while helping the business community develop its future workforce. Over 100 partnerships have been formed. In 1999, SBPLI brought the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition to Long Island, in which eight high school teams participated. Since then, the Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition has grown to over 50 teams competing each year. SBPLI also hosts Long Island’s annual FIRST LEGO League Qualifying and Championship Tournaments and the Junior FIRST LEGO League Expo, in which almost 2,000 elementary and middle school students from Nassau and Suffolk Counties take part each year. For more information, visit www.sbpli.org.


Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $16 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for Grades 4-8; and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) for Grades K-3. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.



FIRST® and FTC® are registered trademarks, and Gracious Professionalism™ is a common law trademark, of the United States Foundation For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (U.S. FIRST).