School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI) Appointed as FIRST® Tech Challenge Affiliate Partner

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


The Addition of This Program to FIRST Long Island’s Purview Ensures that STEM Education Reaches Even More Students in the Area

[Kings Park, New York] — School-Business Partnerships of Long Island (SBPLI) has officially been appointed as a FIRST® Tech Challenge Affiliate Partner. Effective immediately, SBPLI will assume responsibility for managing all aspects of the program in Nassau and Suffolk counties. The inaugural event will be the official FIRST Tech Challenge Kick Off at Half Hollow Hills High School East on Saturday, September 10 at noon. During the coming FIRST Long Island season, there will be a practice scrimmage, four FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifiers and a Championship.

Started in 2005, FIRST Tech Challenge is designed for students, grades seven to 12, to compete in a head-to-head robotics competition, using a sporting tournament model, which falls within the parameters of the annual theme of the Challenge. Over the course of a 10-week build period, teams are asked to design, build and program a robot using a reusable kit of parts and Java or MIT App Inventor software. At the close of the build period, the teams then compete in an alliance format against other alliances of teams – a style dubbed by FIRST as “coopertition.”

Teams are made up of students, coaches and mentors who all work together to develop a strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. In each round of the tournament, awards are given for the competition as well as for community outreach, design and other real-world accomplishments. The ultimate goal of FIRST Tech Challenge is to reach more young people at a lower-cost, furthering the opportunities for accessible STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education to everyone.

“By incorporating FIRST Tech Challenge into its purview, SBPLI is now able to present the full progression of FIRST® programs, which also includes FIRST® Lego League Jr., FIRST® Lego League, and FIRST® Robotics Competition, to all Long Island students, ages six through 18,” explains Dr. Yacov Shamash, Chairman of the Board, SBPLI. “This partnership further benefits SBPLI in our mission to provide substantial hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning opportunities for students on Long Island.”

SBPLI is a completely volunteer-run organization. Its STEM-focused enrichment opportunities would not be possible without the generous donations of its sponsors. For more information about the programs or sponsorship opportunities, please visit




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) Robotics Competition to Long Island, which featured just eight 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 almost 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 progression of FIRST programs. For more information about the programs, or to learn how to become a sponsor, visit