Teamwork and Friendly Competition define SBPLI-LI FIRST Deer Park Invitational Preseason Event

Competition Highlights Benefits of School Robotics Programs For Students

A spirit of cooperation and teamwork permeated the gymnasium at Deer Park High School on Saturday, September 24, 2005 as robots took center court during the Deer Park Invitational, a preseason robotics competition sponsored by the School Business Partnerships of Long Island. Friendly competition coaxed problem solving skills and stellar sportsmanship from the twelve high school teams, including one team from Brooklyn, creating an engaging learning environment focused on the science of physics and the field of engineering.

In recent years, the School Business Partnership of Long Island, Inc. has held its preseason LI FIRST robotics competition at the Long Island Business and Technology Center in Great River. This year, that event was supplanted by the Deer Park Invitational, which was designed and implemented to showcase the benefits of robotics programs on students, schools and their communities. Participating teams utilized the robots they built for the 2005 regional competition, held at Hofstra University in March. Students navigated their robots to place tetrahedrons (polyhedrons with four faces) onto triangular goals, participating in qualifying rounds during the morning, followed by elimination rounds in the afternoon.

Residents, teachers and administrators from Deer Park and other Long Island school districts attended the event which included many matches featuring rookie drivers preparing for the 2006 regional competition. So inspired by the event's success Deer Park Superintendent Richard Organisciak has pledged future support for the program.

The final round, to determine the best two out of three, proved very exciting as each alliance had taken a match.

The Invitational Winner was the alliance of teams from Miller Place, Hauppauge and Brooklyn. The Invitational Finalist was \the alliance of teams from Deer Park, Plainview-Old Bethpage, and Miller Place.

The fledgling teams from Freeport and Comsewogue competed in matches with robots from Plainview-Old Bethpage and Miller Place respectively.

"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. We were not disappointed," said Fred Breithut, founder of School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. "More than once during this competition every team exhibited what one spectator termed as "gracious professionalism", with one team even going do far as to spend precious time trying to right the toppled robot of a competing team."

"It was wonderful to have been able to provide an opportunity to include rookie teams, giving them a chance to gain practical experience, while competing with veteran teams, "said Janet Anderson, director of the LI FIRST robotics program. She continued, "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."