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On March 27 and 28, the SBPLI FIRST Robotics Competition was held at Hofstra University. FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams and their mentors to solve a common problem, and build a competitive robot in a six-week timeframe. Forty-six teams competed in the Long Island Regional.

The POB JFK HS POBOTS, team 353, had a very successful season. At the competition, the team was awarded the Website Design Award, and was also Regional Finalist. The team also won the Regional Chairman's Award. The FIRST website explains the Chairman's Award as ".. the FIRST Robotics Competition's most prestigious award. The award honors the team that best represents a model for other FRC teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. The Chairman's Award helps keep the central focus of the FIRST Robotics Competition on the goal of inspiring greater levels of respect and honor for science and technology."

The POBOTS won the Chairman's Award based on their involvement in the community, and for inspiring others to get involved in math, science and technology. The team mentors middle school levels teams, and runs several community service programs. Each year, they host an Engineering Awareness night, and invite all members of the community in to see what they do, give demonstrations, and promote learning about all aspects of engineering, programming, and building.

"Additionally this team finished No.1 1 as Regional Finalists and also won the Website Award" said Senator Kemp Hannon. "The team faced strong competition from the more than 47 teams that competed and really brought home significant honors."

"Other schools in my district received honors too," Hannon proudly pointed out. Team 527 from Plainedge High School Red Dragons finished third in the Regional Competition and The Imagery Award went to students from Gen. MacArthur High School in Levittown. "Programs like the SBPLI Robotics competition help create working partnerships in our community and this may lead to future career opportunities helping keep our younger generation on Long Island and stimulate innovative solutions to myriad concerns that affect all of us. I was pleased to be able to cheer on every participant and look forward to seeing future interest in science and technology grow on Long Island," said Hannon.

The team will compete at Nationals in Atlanta April 16-18, 2009.


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