Fifth Annual Deer Park Invitational Showcases Teamwork, Problem Solving and Friendly Competition

18 Teams Join In All-Day Robotics Competition
Fifth Annual Deer Park Invintational

Robots from high schools such as Deer Park High School (Team 270),
Plainview-Old Bethpage (Team 353) and Lindenhurst (Team 533) battle at the
Deer Park Invitational, sponsored by SBPLI and the Deer Park USFD.

On October 17, students from 18 participating high schools took part in the Fifth Annual Deer Park Invitational, a postseason robotics competition sponsored by the School Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI), FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and the Deer Park Union Free School District. The daylong competition fostered goodwill amongst the students, working together as they solved intricate problems and engaged in friendly competition.

School administrators and parents were on hand to cheer on the competitors. Winners of the invitational were the three-team alliance of Team 353 from Plainview-Old Bethpage, Team 1751 from Comsewogue and Team 329 from Patchogue-Medford. Finalists included Team 358 from Hauppauge, Team 263 from Sachem and Team 1408 from Hicksville.

At the event, students programmed their robots, some weighing as much as 135 pounds, to pick up 9-inch game balls and score them in trailers hitched to their opponents' robots for points during a 2-minute, 15-second match. Additional points were awarded for scoring a special game ball, the Super Cell, in the opponents' trailers during the last 20 seconds of the match. The playing field was covered with a white slippery covering to reflect the moon's gravity.

"We planned this event not only as a competition about the design and building of sophisticated robots, but as an opportunity to create an atmosphere whereby students can also develop maturity, professionalism, teamwork and mentoring skills, thereby enriching their lives and pointing them in the direction of an engineering career. We were not disappointed," said Fred Breithut, founder of SBPLI.

"It was wonderful to have been able to provide an opportunity to these students to engage in the fields of science and technology, while learning to work together," said William Hodrinsky, Director, SBPLI. "It is always our hope that students will be inspired to turn their affinity for science and math into a career path, leading them to study engineering, technology or science in college."