Family Fun and Education Collide at SBPLI’s 16th Annual Long Island Regional FIRST® Robotics Competition

More Than 50 Teams from Long Island, Metro New York Area, Brazil, Israel, and Canada Set to Compete

School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI), in conjunction with FIRST®(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), is pleased to present the Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) on March 27 and 28 at Hofstra University’s David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex in Hempstead. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. on both days, with opening ceremonies.

Families and supporters from all across Long Island are invited to watch fifty-one teams of students and engineering and technical mentors from Long Island, the New York metropolitan area, as well as Brazil, Israel, and Canada, demonstrate their skills for science, mathematics, and technology. They will compete for honors and recognition that reward design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship, and high-impact partnerships between schools, businesses, and communities.

Now in its 25th season, the FIRST Robotics Competition anticipates close to 2,548 teams from every state in the U.S. and 16 countries worldwide to compete in 58 Regional Events and 17 District Competitions. More than 2,000 students will compete at the Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition to be eligible to earn a spot at the Championship, to be held April 22-25 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri.

This year’s challenge, RECYCLE RUSHSM, is a recycling-themed competition played by two alliances of three robots each. Robots score points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers, and properly disposing of pool noodles, representing litter. In keeping with the recycling theme of the game, all game pieces used are reusable or recyclable by teams in their home locations or by FIRST at the end of the season.

At the event, families can watch the robots compete, as well as check out the demonstrations from some of the Junior FIRST® LEGO League, FIRST® LEGO League and FIRST® Tech Challenge teams, visit the FESTO traveling exhibit about engineering and try out the daVinci medical robot.

“We are extremely excited to bring back the FIRST Robotics Competition this year,” said Debra Winter, FRC co-director for SBPLI. “This event is an important stepping stone for those students. For some, it’s a chance to take part in making a vision become a reality. For others, it opens the door to possibilities that are few and far between these days, like scholarships or job opportunities. We also have some interesting demonstrations that we urge the visiting team members and their families to visit. Both SBPLI and FIRST are showing that, through the Long Island Regional, they are stepping up to the challenge of increasing awareness of STEM on Long Island.”

This season, students participating in FIRST robotics are eligible to apply for more than $20 million in scholarships from 150 providers. Over a six-week timeframe, students work with professional engineering mentors to design a robot that solves a problem using a “kit of parts” and a standard set of rules. Once these young inventors create the robot, their teams participate in regional competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.

The Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition’s sponsors and volunteers come from some of the most highly regarded organizations in the area, including FESTO Corporation, BAE Systems, Estee Lauder, Northrop-Grumman, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital, PSEG Long Island, SCOPE Educational Services, Park Shore Country Day Camp and School, Schenck Trebel Corporation, Stony Brook University, Hofstra University, Farmingdale State College and School Construction Consultants, among others. Sponsors provide resources including time and talent from professional mentors, services, equipment, financial contributions, and volunteers.

If you or your child are interested in participating in any of the FIRST family of programs, please visit for more information.