2017 FIRST® Robotics Competition Season Kicks Off at Stony Brook University on January 7

The FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics season will kick off at the Jacob Javits Lecture Center at Stony Brook University on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 9 a.m. During the event, 48 FIRST Long Island teams will gather in anticipation of learning about the forthcoming season’s robotics competition.


Knowing only that this year’s theme is FIRST STEAMWORKSSM, the local FIRST teams, and the more than 2,000 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.


The SBPLI Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition is one of over 50 regional events scheduled for 2017. It will take place March 30 to April 1, 2016 at the Hofstra University David S. Mack Sports & Exhibition Complex. Some of the teams set to participate in the local regional will move on to compete at one of two 2017 FIRST Championship events, in Houston on April 19-22, 2017 or in St. Louis on April 26-29, 2017.


Leading up to the regional, 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 more than $2 million in scholarships for higher education. This year, students participating in FIRST will have access to over 600 scholarships worth more than $20 million.


“The FIRST Robotics Competition is not just about the design and build of sophisticated robots,” says Debra Winter, FIRST Robotics Competition Co-Director, SBPLI, which presents the Long Island Regional each year. “These students also develop maturity, professionalism and teamwork skills that enrich their lives. Many of our students are inspired to go on to study science, technology, engineering, or math in college. Our graduates often pursue careers with sponsoring companies, meeting the businesses’ needs for well-rounded, technically skilled employees.”