2019 FIRST® Robotics Competition Season Kicks Off at LIU Post’s Tilles Center on January 5

FIRST Robotics Competition Kick Off

The FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition season will kick off at the Tilles Center at LIU Post, located at 720 Northern Boulevard, Brookville, NY on Saturday, January 5 at 8:45 a.m. FIRST Robotics Competition teams from across Long Island will gather in anticipation of learning about the upcoming season’s robotics competition.

Knowing only that this year’s theme is DESTINATION: DEEP SPACESM, the local FIRST teams, and the 3,647 teams around the world, will receive this year’s game rules via a video feed that will broadcast at the same time across the globe.

During the Long Island Kick Off, School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI) DBA FIRST® Long Island which presents the event, will treat students and parents to presentations from alumni, mentors and sponsors, including Zebra Technologies, regarding the impact of the program on local communities and businesses. Towards the close of the event, each team will 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.

“Zebra Technologies is excited to sponsor FIRST Robotics Long Island as it aligns with our focus on innovation,” said Melissa Luff Loizides, Senior Director of Human Resources and Community Relations for Zebra Technologies. “Our employee mentors and FIRST alumni volunteer with FIRST Robotics teams across Nassau and Suffolk counties as part of our commitment to promote education and STEM initiatives to give people, especially our youth, a performance edge.”

This year, two regional tournaments will be held as part of the SBPLI Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. They will take place on March 24 to 27 and March 27 to 30 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 2019 FIRST Championship in Detroit.

This year’s Kick Off and regionals will be especially exciting because 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the SBPLI Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. There will be special guests at both events speaking about the history of the program on Long Island and its lasting impact.

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 have received millions of dollars in scholarships for higher education. This year, there are 200 scholarship providers who will give students participating in FIRST access to $80 million worth of scholarships.

“We are thrilled to get our 2019 season underway and are looking forward to another great kick-off event,” says Larry Toonkel, Co-Director, FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Long Island. “Since this is the 20th anniversary of our regional, we have a lot of exciting surprises planned throughout the year.”