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Queens Chronicle

Robotics competition teaches new skills

Students get firsthand experience in the exciting world of technology

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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:17 am, Thu Jan 31, 2013.

More than forty participating high schools gathered on Saturday, Jan. 5 at the Jacob Javits Center to compete in the annual For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology robotics competition, sponsored by the School-Business Partnership of Long Island and Stony Brook University.

Students from various schools across the state watched a presentation and simulcast from New Hampshire. After the presentation each team received a kit with various parts to help the students build a 120-pound robot.

Teams have six weeks to complete the project and prepare for the upcoming competition that will take place on April 4 to 6 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island.

The School-Business Partnership of Long Island is known for developing students technological literacy. Since its inception it has partnered with over 100 schools to promote the program.

Two hundred students from Aviation High School of Technology in Long Island City participated in this year’s competition.

Aviation School of Technology offers students ages 14 to 18 a chance to train in aviation mechanics. Graduating students become professionally licensed mechanics.

Principal Deno Charalambous said the competition challenges students to excel in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Everything has math. You have to figure out ways to make it work. This year’s goal is to make a robot that throws a Frisbee. That itself involves science and technology,” Charalambous said.

The FIRST Robotic competition aims to create science and technology career development opportunities for students and enhance their skills, which is why Charalambous believes this program is the right fit for Aviation School of Technology.

“It takes the students skills to another level, skills that they already work with, and brings out the best in them,” Charalambous said.

The program provides students with important teamwork and collaborative lessons, which play an important role in developing their knowledge.

Charalambous said students are very diligent with their work and studies.

“Our students are here until nine at night. They love getting involved in this project. It is a great motivator. Even graduates come back to work with our students. They bounce with each other and learn from each other,” Charalambous added.

To learn more about the FIRST program sponsored by the School-Business Partnership of Long Island and its activities visit sbpli-lifirst.org.

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