Thursday, January 08, 2009

New York City FIRST LEGO League Championship will be held on Saturday, March 7th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center

January 7, 2009

Dear Friends of New York City FIRST:

Current economic conditions are presenting non-profits across the City with a very real challenge – How to continue to provide the highest quality programs and experiences for kids within the context of uncertain or declining financial resources.

New York City FIRST is no exception. Consequently we must make adjustments in our 2008-2009 programming in order to cope with these changing economic conditions.

The New York City FIRST planning committees for FRC, FTC, and FLL put a lot of careful thought into how we could reduce costs without significantly impacting the quality of the FIRST experience for kids across the City.

As a result of these deliberations, the following changes are being made in our 2009 competition season:

• The 2009 New York City FIRST LEGO League Championship will be held on Saturday, March 7th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. This event had previously been scheduled to take place at Riverbank State Park on January 31st.

• The New York City FIRST Tech Challenge Championship will be held on Sunday, March 8th also at the Javits Center. In addition, a tournament registration fee of $200 will be established for teams which compete at this event.

• The 2009 New York City FIRST Robotics Competition and the third annual New York City FIRST Science and Technology Career Expo will again take place, as planned, March 6th – 8th at the Javits Center.

We realize that these changes create challenges for everyone – teachers, parents, and FIRST volunteers. But I hope everyone will understand that we make these changes out of necessity in order to reduce costs and make more efficient use of available resources.

Challenges often present new opportunities. As a result of consolidating events at Javits, thousands of kids of all ages will come together under one roof to be part of New York City’s celebration of science and technology. The excitement, “cross-generational” inspiration, and energy will be unprecedented.

If you have questions or concerns regarding these changes, please be in touch with me at

Thank you for your continuing support of New York City FIRST and our efforts to help young New Yorkers acquire the knowledge and skills they will need if they are to successfully compete in the technologically-driven global economy.

Very best regards,

Randy Schaeffer
FIRST Regional Director

Executive Advisory Board:

Honorary Co-chairs:

Jack Hennessy, Chairman & CEO
Credit Suisse First Boston (retired)

John Whitehead, Chairman
The Goldman Sachs Foundation


Michael Dubno, Chief Technology Officer, Goldman Sachs (retired)

Josh Weston, Honorary Chairman ADP

Other members:

Dr. Robert A. Altenkirch, President
New Jersey Institute of Technology

Kevin Burke, Chairman & CEO
Con Edison

Cosema E. Crawford, Senior Vice President & Chief Engineer
MTA NYC Transit

Dr. Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor City University of New York

Jerry M. Hultin, President
Polytechnic Institute of NYU

Senator Bob Kerrey
President, New School University

Ralph LaRossa
President and COO, Public Service Electric and Gas Company

Francis J. Lombardi, Chief Engineer
Port Authority of NY & NJ

Sheri S. McCoy, Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals Group
Johnson & Johnson

Dr. Thomas Metcalf, Vice President
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Dr. Harold J. Raveche, President
Stevens Institute of Technology

Tami Rosen, Managing Director
Goldman Sachs

Dr. Gregory H. Williams, President
City College of New York


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