SBPLI-LI FIRST Supports Deer Park Invitational Postseason Event

Competition Showcases Benefits of Robotics Programs on Students, Community

With school districts managing rising costs and tighter budgets, important programs face cuts or elimination. The School Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. is highlighting the importance of middle school and high school robotics programs with its support of theThird Annual Deer Park Invitational. The post season robotics competition is to be held in the gymnasium at Deer Park High School on Saturday, October 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

School robotics programs immerse youngsters in the science of physics and the field of engineering. They provide an enjoyable, engaging learning environment and they enhance problem solving skills, cooperation and teamwork.

The Invitational is designed to showcase the benefits of robotics programs on students, schools and their communities. Residents, teachers and administrators from Deer Park and other Long Island school districts are invited to attend.

"The competition is not just about the design and building of sophisticated robots. These students also develop maturity, professionalism, teamwork and mentoring skills that enrich their lives," said Fred Breithut, founder of School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. "Many of our students develop an affinity for their science and math courses, go on to study engineering, technology or science in college."

Teams from 17 high schools have entered the competition thus far: Baldwin, Bay Shore, Comsewogue, Deer Park, Hauppauge, Hicksville, Miller Place, Plainedge, Plainview/Old Bethpage, Port Washington, Roosevelt, Sachem, Smithtown, Walt Whitman, and West Islip as well as Grady High School in Brooklyn and a team from Montclair, New Jersey. In addition, Copiague, Sayville and Sewanhaka high schools have been invited to participate as pre-rookies using robots borrowed from experienced teams.

Participating teams will be using the robots they built for the 2007 regional competition, held at Hofstra University in March. At the event, students will navigate their robots, some weighing as much as 135 pounds, to shoot balls into a goal and drive the robot up a ramp onto a platform. The competition runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; qualifying rounds will take place in the morning and elimination rounds will follow in the afternoon.

"We invite other potential rookie teams to join us, work with veteran teams, and have the opportunity to drive a robot to give them a flavor for the program which they would not otherwise have," said Janet Anderson, Director of the LI FIRST Robotics Program.

For more information on the Deer Park Invitational, or to find out how to register a team for the competition, call Chuck Burg of Deer Park High School at 631-274-4100.