School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. Helps Support FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifying Tournament

Monday, January 6, 2014

School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI) has announced that the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge (FTC) Qualifying Tournament will be held on Sunday, January 19 at Hewlett High School from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The school is located on 60 Everit Avenue in Hewlett.


This year’s challenge is “FTC® BLOCK PARTY!SM”, in which robots must place plastic blocks onto pendulum goals. Students will program their robots to operate in both autonomous and driver-controlled modes on a specially designed field. Each match will last two-and-a-half minutes, beginning with a 30-second autonomous period. Each team will be required to raise their team flag up a flagpole, elevate their robots off the ground using a platform pull-up bar, and finish the match with a balanced pendulum to earn extra points.


The event is affiliated with New York City FIRST, with support from SBPLI. FIRST Tech Challenge was created for students in grades seven through 12 to build similar robots, utilize a smaller playing field, and costs less to participate in than the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). Just like in FRC, students apply the concepts of math and science they learned at school to design, build and program robots for a competitive challenge. The FTC is open to high school teams, as well as local community-based organizations


“We are delighted to help New York City FIRST implement this FTC tournament on Long Island,” says Joani Madarash, Executive Director, School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. “We love helping students learn the importance of math and science with hands-on experience and encourage Long Islanders to attend this fun, competitive tournament.”


For more information on SBPLI, please visit





NYC FIRST is the New York City-based non-profit affiliate of FIRST®, an international non-profit mentoring organization that was created to excite young people about science and technology, prepare today's students to enter tomorrow's advanced technology-based workplace, and provide them with valuable life skills. 


NYC FIRST is dedicated to providing students from all five boroughs the opportunity to take part in FIRST programs. Participation in FIRST has a positive impact on the lives of students, increasing college attendance, majors in science and engineering, participation in internships and co-ops, and involvement in community service.



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 Expo, in which approximately 1,000 elementary and middle school students from Nassau and Suffolk Counties take part each year. For more information, visit