Teens from Long Island, NYC Area and Brazil Showcase Design and Engineering Skills at FIRST Robotics Competition — "Ultimate Ascent SM"

Students Learn Problem Solving and Teamwork, in Addition to Designing and Building Robots by Working with Professional Mentors to Participate in Long Island Regional FRC on April 4-6

High school students from Long Island, New York City and Brazil will have the opportunity to showcase their hard work after an intense six weeks of designing and building an original robot in the 14th annual Long Island Regional FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition, presented by School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI).

On April 4-6, at Hofstra University’s David S. Mack Sports & Exhibition Complex in Hempstead, New York, 50 teams of students and engineering and technical mentors will 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 among schools, businesses and communities.

Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, who introduced the IBOT Mobility System and the Segway® Human Transporter (HT), FIRST was created to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, their schools, and their communities. Now in its 22nd 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 earn a spot at the Championship to be held April 24-27 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO.

The 2013 game, ULTIMATE ASCENTSM is played between two Alliances of three teams each. Each Alliance competes by trying to throw as many flying discs into their goals as possible during the two-minute, 15-second match. Discs thrown in higher goals score Alliances more points. Matches end with robots attempting to climb up pyramids located near the middle of the field.

“FIRST isn’t about competing, it’s about cooperating, and recognizing that if you have the right tools, you’ll be able to make this world a better place for yourself and for the country,” said Mr. Kamen, president of DEKA Research and Development and FIRST founder. “There is no stimulus package that will have as much return as stimulating a bunch of kids to become the workforce of the future, the problem solvers, the creators of the future.”

“We are extremely excited to see what our participants for the FIRST Robotics Competition have come up with this year,” said SBPLI’s FRC Director, Ginny Greco. “This event is an imperative stepping stone for 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. Most importantly, this competition is a chance to instill within students a vital concept to achieving success; anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”

This season, students participating in FIRST robotics are eligible to apply for more than $16 million in scholarships from 150 scholarship 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, Northrop-Grumman, 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.