SBPLI-LI FIRST Supports Sixth Annual 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. (SBPLI) is highlighting the importance of middle school and high school robotics programs with its support of the Sixth Annual Deer Park Invitational. The postseason robotics competition is to be held in the gymnasium at Deer Park High School on Saturday, October 16 from 8:00 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 Janet Anderson, Acting Director, SBPLI-LI FIRST. “Many of our students develop an affinity for their science and math courses, and go on to study engineering, technology or science in college.”

Participating teams will be using the robots they built for the 2010 LI FIRST Regional competition, which was held at Hofstra University in March. At the event, students will program their robots, some weighing as much as 135 pounds, to compete on a 27-by-54-foot playing field, attempting to earn points by collecting soccer balls in goals. Additional bonus points are earned for each robot suspended in air and not touching the field at the end of the match.

“We also would like to invite potential rookie teams to join us, work with veteran teams, and have the opportunity to drive a robot to give them a feel for the program which they would not otherwise have,” Ms. Anderson said.

For more information on the Deer Park Invitational, or to find out how to register a team for the competition, call Ted Smirlis of Deer Park High School at (631) 274-4100. For more information about SBPLI, visit