Long Island Students Take the TRASH TREK Challenge during the FIRST® LEGO League (FLL®) Championship at Longwood High School

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

[Kings Park, New York] — Weeks of research and design will culminate in the FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League (FLL) Long Island Championship Tournament on Sunday, February 28. Sponsored by School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI), this event will take place at Longwood High School, where 400 Long Island middle school children will demonstrate their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship and sense of community.

In order to earn a spot as one of the 40 teams competing in the Championships, students first participated in one of four FLL Qualifiers held at Mineola High School and Central Islip High School in late January and early February. During those events, a total of 150 Long Island teams competed for an opportunity to advance to the championship tournament.

The theme of this year’s competition is TRASH TREK℠, which tasked the more than 230,000 students from nearly 80 countries around the world with discovering the hidden (or not-so-hidden) world of trash. Teams have to program their LEGO MINDSTORMS® robots to solve a number of missions on an obstacle course set on a thematic playing surface. Game missions include demolishing a building and salvaging valuable materials from the debris, converting organic material into fertilizer and reusing methane produced in a landfill to power a truck and/or factory.

For the TRASH TREK Challenge, FIRST LEGO League collaborated with organizations such as LEGO Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, Waste Management, Captain Planet Foundation and Pratt Industries, among others, to create a theme and develop challenge missions that reflect real-world issues.

The FLL competition is judged in three areas: project, robot design, and FLL Core Values, which embody aspects of teamwork and good sportsmanship. Top robot game scores are also honored.                                     

FLL is an international program for nine- to 14-year-olds created in a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Group in 1998 to get students excited about science and technology – and teach them valuable career and life skills. Using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technologies and LEGO Education materials, children work alongside adult mentors to design, build and program autonomous robots and create an innovative solution to a problem as part of their research project. After eight intense weeks, the competition season culminates at high-energy, sports-like tournaments. Like any other organized “sport,” teams also fundraise, create a team identity and go on field trips.

“We are very excited about this year’s theme,” explains Stephanie Stern, SBPLI’s FLL Affiliate Partner. “It not only aligns with SBPLI’s mission of increasing interest in science and technology at a very young age, but also helps draw attention to the pollution problems that the world is facing. I’m looking forward to seeing the excitement of the teams at the competition, as well as the solutions they develop for the challenge.”

Some of the teams competing in the Long Island Championship will also have the opportunity to participate at the FLL World Festival, to be held in conjunction with the FIRST Championship, from April 27 to 30, 2016, at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Other teams will be invited to compete at the FLL Open Championship at LEGOLAND in Carlsbad, California in May 2016.

For a list of the area schools and youth organizations with teams participating in the SBPLI FLL Long Island Championship, see the attached page. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled. Participating teams are listed below.

The Championship Tournament is sponsored by School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI) and the Longwood Central School District. The high school where the event is being held is located at 100 Longwood Road in Middle Island, New York.

For more information about SBPLI, FLL or any of the local FIRST programs and events, visit www.sbpli.org.



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 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 more than 2,000 elementary and middle school students from Nassau and Suffolk Counties take part each year. For more information, visit www.sbpli.org.


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 $22 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.


About the LEGO Group

The LEGO Group is a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark. The company is still owned by the Kirk Kristiansen family who founded it in 1932. The LEGO Group is engaged in the development of children's creativity through playing and learning. Based on the world-famous LEGO® brick, the company today provides toys, experiences and teaching materials for children in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit www.LEGO.com.