Twenty-Four FIRST® Tech Challenge Teams Set to Compete in the Long Island Championship at Smithtown High School West on February 11

Monday, February 6, 2017

Event Presented by School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc.
Twenty-four FIRST® Tech Challenge Long Island teams will take to the playing field at the Long Island Championship Tournament to be held at Smithtown High School West on Saturday, February 11. The competing teams were determined through a series of three Qualifying Tournaments that were presented by School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI) throughout the month of January.
During each event teams, comprised of students age 12 to 18 demonstrate their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship and sense of community. Working alongside their mentors, these students built and programmed robots for the 2017 FIRST Tech Challenge, VELOCITY VORTEXSM, during which two alliances of three teams attempt to score as many points as possible by moving particles into their own center vortex or corner vortex and claiming beacons for their alliance by triggering them to illuminate their alliance color. At the end of the game, the color of the beacon determines the alliance credited for the successful claiming of the beacon.
More than 46,000 students in almost 20 countries have programmed robots to compete on a 12-foot by 12-foot field in an alliance format against other teams. Robots are built from a reusable platform, powered by Android technology and programmed using Java.
Three winning teams from the Long Island Championship will have the opportunity to advance to the FIRST Tech Challenge Super-Regional Championship on March 17-19, 2017 at the University of Scranton in Scranton, PA., and may then advance to the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship at the America's Center Dome in St. Louis on April 26-29, 2017.
Awards are presented at each FIRST Tech Challenge event include:

  • Inspire Award: team that best exemplifies the spirit of FIRST Tech Challenge
  • Think Award: team that best manages the engineering design process
  • Connect Award: team most connected to the local and engineering communities
  • Rockwell Collins Innovate Award: team with the most ingenuity and inventiveness
  • PTC® Design Award: team with the most compelling industrial design elements
  • Motivate Award: team acts as Ambassadors for FIRST; exemplifies outstanding outreach/recruitment efforts
  • Control Award: team that uses sensors and software to enhance the robot’s functionality on the field
  • Winning Alliance Award: alliance that wins the final elimination rounds
  • Finalist Alliance Award: alliance in the final match of the competition

FIRST Long Island, presented by SBPLI, Inc., is very pleased to work in partnership with each of the high schools that hosted a FIRST Tech Challenge event this season,” says Bertram Dittmar, Executive Director, SBPLI. “We look forward to seeing the students display their abilities and their Gracious Professionalism during this, the final FIRST Tech Challenge tournament on Long Island in 2017.”

Local sponsors included School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. and Lynbrook Public Schools; national sponsors included Qualcomm, Rockwell Collins and PTC.
For more information on SBPLI or the FIRST Tech Challenge, please 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 $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
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