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2018 FIRST® Robotics Competition Season Kicks Off at Stony Brook University on January 6

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The FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition season will once again kick off at the Jacob Javits Lecture Center at Stony Brook University. On Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 9 a.m., FIRST Robotics Competition teams from across Long Island will gather in anticipation of learning about the forthcoming season’s robotics competition.

Knowing only that this year’s theme is FIRST POWERUPSM, the local FIRST teams, and the more than 3,000 teams around the world, will receive this year’s game rules via NASA satellite transmission from FIRST headquarters in New Hampshire. During the Long Island Kick Off, School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI), which presents the event, will also hold a special informational session for parents of participating students, during which they will learn about the organization, its mission and the importance of the robotics programs. Students and parents alike will also be treated to presentations from alumni, mentors and sponsors regarding the impact of the program on the local communities and businesses. Towards the close of the event, each team will then collect its kit of parts to construct a 120-pound robot over the six-week design and build period leading up to the FIRST Robotics Competition tournaments.

Following last year’s record-breaking registration for the SBPLI Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition, the organization will now be hosting two regional tournaments across two sets of consecutive dates. Planned as a double header, these back-to-back regionals will be held April 9 to 11 and April 12 to 14, 2018 at Hofstra University’s David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. Each event will serve as a separate regional, with different teams competing in separate alliances and tournament rounds. Some of the teams set to participate in the local regionals will move on to compete at the 2018 FIRST Championship in Detroit.

Leading up to the regionals, SBPLI students will work with engineering mentors to apply concepts of math and science learned in the classroom to build their robots. Students will also learn important concepts such as teamwork, problem solving and healthy competition. Many SBPLI students use these skills while pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies and careers.

Over the years, FIRST students from Long Island received millions of dollars in scholarships for higher education. This year, students participating in FIRST will have access to more than $50 million worth of scholarships.

“We are very excited to get our 2018 season underway and are looking forward to another great kick-off event,” says Larry Toonkel, newly appointed Co-Director, FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Long Island. “With two Regionals in the works, we know that this year will be an especially pivotal one for SBPLI and STEM education on Long Island. In addition to making it now possible for all Long Island districts to join our family, our hope for the future of the SBPLI Long Island Regionals is that more teams from across the state, nation and world will be able to compete at one or both of our events each year.”

For more information on SBPLI or FIRST Long Island, 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 FIRSTRobotics 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



January 6, 2017 at Stony Brook University


#28                 Pierson Middle/High School (Sag Harbor)

#263               Sachem High School (North & East)

#271               Bayshore High School

#287               William Floyd High School

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#870               Southold Junior-Senior High School

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#1803             Paul D. Schreiber Senior High School [Port Washington]

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#2875             Cold Spring Harbor High School

#3137             Connetquot High School

#3171             Westhampton Beach Senior High School

#3624             Half Hollow Hills High School (West & East)

#3950             North Shore High School

#4006             Central Islip High School

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#6422             Rocky Point/Shoreham

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#6746             Our Lady of Mercy Academy [Syosset]

#6806             Mineola High School

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