Family Fun and Education Collide at the 17th Annual SBPLI Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition

Monday, March 7, 2016

Fifty-One Teams from Long Island, Metro New York and Brazil Set to Compete in the Tournament Presented by School-Business Partnerships of Long Island

School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI), is pleased to present the 17th Annual SBPLI Long Island Regional FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition (FRC). The event is being held on April 1 and 2 at Hofstra University’s David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex in Hempstead, with opening ceremonies at 8:30 a.m. on both days.

Families and supporters from all across Long Island are invited to watch 51 teams of students and engineering and technical mentors from Long Island, the New York metropolitan area and Brazil demonstrate their skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They will compete for honors and recognition that reward design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship and high-impact partnerships between schools, businesses, and communities.

This year’s challenge, FIRST STRONGHOLDSM is based on a popular medieval castle-conquering and battle-strategy game. Robots gain points by incapacitating defenses and scoring boulders through goals in the opposition’s tower. A visual description of FIRST Stronghold can be found on YouTube.

At the event, families can watch the robots compete, as well as check out the demonstrations from some of the FIRST® LEGO League Junior, FIRST® LEGO League and FIRST® Tech Challenge teams and visit the FESTO traveling exhibit about engineering.

“We’re looking forward to another great SBPLI Long Island Regional,” says Debra Winter, FRC Co-Director, SBPLI. “This event is an important stepping stone for all FRC students. It’s a chance for them to turn a vision into a reality and it opens the door to possibilities that are few and far between these days, like scholarships or job opportunities. Students will also learn important concepts such as teamwork, problem solving and healthy competition while developing the maturity necessary to enrich their professional lives.”

“The SBPLI Long Island Regional demonstrates SBPLI’s commitment to the challenge of increasing STEM awareness to families across the region,” adds David Johnson, FRC Co-Director, SBPLI. Over the years, Long Island students involved with FIRST have received more than $8 million in scholarships for higher education, in areas of science, technology, engineering, business or math. Our graduates often pursue careers with sponsoring companies, meeting the businesses’ needs for well-rounded, technically skilled employees.”

This season, students participating in FIRST robotics are eligible to apply for more than $25 million in scholarships. Over a six-week timeframe, students work with professional engineering mentors to design a robot that solves a problem using a “kit of parts” and a standard set of rules. Once these young inventors create the robot, their teams participate in regional competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.

The SBPLI Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition’s sponsors and volunteers come from some of the most highly regarded organizations and businesses in the area, including BAE Systems; Bethpage Federal Credit Union; Cablevision Systems Corporation; Estée Lauder Companies; Hofstra University; Farmingdale State College; FESTO Corporation; Northrop-Grumman; Northwell Health Systems; PSEG Long Island; SCOPE Educational Services; Schenck Trebel Corporation; School Construction Consultants; Stony Brook University and U.S. Army Recruiting Batallion, NYC; among others. Sponsors provide resources including time and talent from professional mentors, services, equipment, financial contributions and volunteers.

If you or your child are interested in participating in any of the FIRST family of programs, please visit for more information.



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 SBPLI Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition has grown to 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 Expos, in which almost 2,000 elementary and middle school students from Nassau and Suffolk Counties take part each year. For more information, visit

About FIRST®  
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 $25 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. 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