Qualifying Tournaments Begin for the FIRST® LEGO® League ANIMAL ALLIES[sm] Season

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Series of Five Tournaments Presented by School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. to be Held at Area High Schools.
Imagination and science will come together this month as FIRST® LEGO® League teams, comprised of students ages nine to 14, as well as their mentors, demonstrate their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship and sense of community during a series of five Qualifying Tournaments.
The theme of this year’s challenge is ANIMAL ALLIESSM, which requires the students to identify and solve real-world problems regarding the way that animals and humans interact and how these interactions can be improved. Students will present their research to a group of judges during the Project portion of the event.
FIRST LEGO League introduces young people to the excitement of learning with its partner The LEGO Group. Students are encouraged to explore and pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields both within the FIRST program and in their future education and careers.
The FIRST Long Island Qualifiers will be held as follows:
Saturday, January 21, 2017 at Central Islip High School [morning and afternoon tournaments]
Sunday, January 22, 2017 at Central Islip High School
Saturday, January 28, 2017 at Mineola High School [morning and afternoon tournaments]
Some winning teams will have the opportunity to advance to the FIRST LEGO League Championship presented by School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI) to be held on Sunday, March 5, 2017 at Longwood High School. Some of the teams competing in the Long Island Championship will also have the opportunity to participate at the FIRST LEGO League World Festival, to be held in conjunction with the FIRST Championship, from April 26 to 29, 2017, at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
“We are very excited to be able to present the FIRST LEGO League programs to students across Long Island,” says Bertram Dittmar, Executive Director, SBPLI. “Not only is this program a great way to build teamwork and sportsmanship skills in young people, but it is also a perfect way to introduce young people to the many benefits of a career in STEM fields. We look forward to seeing what the students come up with for this challenge!”
For more information on SBPLI or the FIRST LEGO League, please visit www.sbpli-lifirst.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 $30 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-4. 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.firstinspires.org.
About School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc.
School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI) is a fully volunteer-run 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1984 by Fred Breithut with the goal of developing partnerships between local high schools and businesses. His goal was to provide students with practical experience and curriculum development, while helping the business community develop its future workforce, which resulted in the formation of over 100 partnerships. In 1999, SBPLI brought the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to Long Island, which featured just eight FIRST Robotics Competition high school teams. 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 FIRST LEGO League Junior Expos, in which over 2,000 elementary and middle school students from Nassau and Suffolk Counties take part each year. In 2016, SBPLI added the FIRST Tech Challenge to its roster of programs. For more information about the programs, or to learn how to become a sponsor, visit www.sbpli-lifirst.org.