Long Island was well represented at a recent robotics competition, scoring many awards before heading into more heated competition at the championship level.
Following intense robo-battles at the SBPLI (School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc.) regionals at Hofstra University’s David S. Mack complex on March 31 and April 1, six of the Long Island teams honored are off to the FIRST Championships through April 29.
“This was one of the best, and certainly the biggest, SBPLI Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competitions we’ve experienced,” said Debra Winter, Dave Johnson and Thom Rosati, FIRST Robotics Competition Regional co-directors for SBPLI. “All participating teams demonstrated tremendous teamwork, gracious professionalism and critical thinking.”
“The fun and excitement of the competition was evident as many students, professional mentors, school groups and community members got caught up in the spirit of the event,” Winter continued. “Thousands attended the event as participants, volunteers, sponsors and supporters, to experience the beauty of engineering and technology combined with the excitement of a competitive event.”
Following the SBPLI Long Island Regional, the Regal Eagles (Team 2869) from Bethpage High School took home the coveted Chairman’s Award, which is the most prestigious award of the event and recognizes the team that embodies the goals and purpose of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and that best represents a model for other teams to emulate, and also secures them a spot at the 2017 Championships.
Other winners of the 2017 SBPLI Long Island Regional are Sachem Aftershock (Team 263) from Sachem High School, and the Mohawks (Team 329) from Patchogue-Medford High School, along with the Kingsmen (Team 5736) from Kings Park High School; Huntington Robotics (Team 5016) from Huntington High School; and the Mustangs (Team 6746) from Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Syosset.
Now in its 18th season, the SBPLI Long Island Regional featured teams of high school-aged students from across Long Island, the New York metropolitan area and even around the world competing in a cooperative tournament-style robotics competition.
Guided by their mentors, students rely on their skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to compete for honors and recognition that reward design excellence, competitive play and sportsmanship.
This high-energy event further emphasizes the importance of high-impact partnerships between students, universities, businesses and communities.
During the competition, two 3-team alliances take to the playing field to complete a variety of tasks in order to score points and win the round, with the hopes of eventually advancing to eliminations and finals.
The finishing move of each round of the competition is for the robots to climb a rope, the completion of which is denoted by a red- or blue-light indicator (pending their alliance color), as they seemingly “take flight” on the field.
SBPLI presented Joani Madarash, a longtime board member and former executive director, with the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award for her continued and steadfast commitment to the organization.
SBPLI FIRST Tech Challenge Director and FIRST LEGO League co-director, Janet Anderson, former FIRST Robotics Competition director and also a longtime board member, was presented with SBPLI’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication and service to the organization. Robert Wentzel, team mentor, Sachem High School, received the Regional Woodie Flowers Award.
Winners of the Dean’s List Finalist Award were Melissa Bruce of Longwood High School Max Goshin of Plainedge Senior High School. The Fred Breithut MVP Award was presented to Christie Franz of Walt Whitman High School.
The winner of the Musical Theme Award, presented by School Construction Consultants, was James Paul Nadien of Plainedge Senior High School, which earned his team a $1,000 grant. Meanwhile, Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School’s POBots (Team 353) took home the Johnson & Johnson Gracious Professionalism Award, promoting the core values of the tournament.