Senator Owen H. Johnson was a guest of honor at a reception marking the 12th Anniversary of the SBPLI, Inc. – LI FIRST Regional Robotics Competition (School Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. - For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) on March 25, 2011 at Hofstra University. The Owen H. Johnson Leadership Award was established for the first time this year by the organization for the Senator’s leadership and commitment to the program since its inception in 1999.
The first recipient of the award is School Construction Consultants, Inc. Principal Nick Amoruso accepted the award. The guidelines for this award are at least three years of active participation in SBPLI, Inc. – LI FIRST and monetary or in-kind contribution to the Regional.
Since its inception, SBPLI has partnered over 100 schools with local businesses. More than 30,000 students have been directly influenced by internships, jobs, and other close relationships with participating companies on Long Island. Hundreds of school staff and faculty have experienced the need for new thinking about what kind of skills they should be teaching. Many courses of study have been changed or introduced as a result of school-business collaboration.
In 1999, SBPLI joined forces with the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition and introduced the FIRST Robotics Program to Long Island by initiating the Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. This highly motivational program is designed to immerse high school students in the exciting world of science and technology by building 130 pound robots. Partnering with engineers from corporations and universities, students get a hands-on, inside look at the world of work.
Each year, FIRST provides a new robot game plan, a "problem to be solved" and a kit of parts to teams of high school students who, in turn, organize marketing, public relations, fundraising, and management groups to compete in regional competitions. Schools can also compete at the international championship held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA.
At the heart of the FIRST competition is the development of students' technological literacy by providing them with an opportunity to experience the technological design cycle, working shoulder-to-shoulder with engineers and other technical personnel. Students are engaged in every aspect of their robot's design and construction, applying scientific knowledge, solving problems, making decisions, communicating ideas, managing time and resources, overcoming challenges, and celebrating success.
Photo left to right: Senator Owen H. Johnson and Joani Madarash, Secretary of the SBPLI, Inc.– LI FIRST Board of Directors, presented the Owen H. Johnson Leadership Award to proud recipient Nick Amoruso for School Construction Consultants, Inc.