Disney and Lucasfilm Team Up with FIRST to Inspire the Next Generation of Heroes and Innovators

Who are the science and technology heroes and innovators of your generation?

Are you part of the Greatest Generation? You might say the color TV, micro-circuits, Penicillin, the microwave, the first bone marrow transplant, the invention of radar and jet engines.

Baby Boomers can cite the personal computer, the world-wide web, text-to-speech technology, synthetic skin products, DNA fingerprinting and Viagra.

Who will be the next generation inventors? What will they create? An impressive partnership to find the next innovators has been created.

Lucasfilm and parent company Disney, and the global K-12 nonprofit organization FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) announced they are teaming up to inspire the next generation of heroes and innovators. As part of their Star Wars: Force for Change philanthropic initiative, Disney and Lucasfilm are providing a $1.5 million donation, in-kind and mentorship resources to help expand access to FIRST programs for more students globally, with a focus on underserved communities.

Star Wars logoDisney, Lucasfilm, and the global K-12 STEM nonprofit FIRST are teaming up to inspire the next generation of heroes and innovators as part of the @StarWars: #ForceforChange philanthropic initiative.

“Star Wars has always inspired young people to look past what is and imagine a world beyond,” said Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm. “It is crucial that we pass on the importance of science and technology to young people—they will be the ones who will have to confront the global challenges that lie ahead. To support this effort, Lucasfilm and Disney are teaming up with FIRST to bring learning opportunities and mentorship to the next generation of innovators.”

As a robotics community, FIRST has inspired millions of students and provided opportunities that prepared young people for the future. Each year, more than 600,000 students participate in team-based, mentor-guided FIRST programs in 100+ countries around the world, building confidence in STEM and growing into well-rounded, community-focused leaders of the future.

“Disney has been a long-time supporter of FIRST, providing mentorship, support and even hosting our FIRST Championship event over the years.” said Donald E. Bossi, president of FIRST. “This is an incredible opportunity to bring together world-class Star Wars storytellers and engineers, their passionate fans, and the innovative, inspirational community of FIRST to expand access to our programs and raise a generation of global STEM citizens.”

More information about how FIRST, Disney and Lucasfilm are inspiring a new generation of heroes can be found at firstinspires.org/force-for-change.

About FIRST®

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $80 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST®LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-4. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.firstinspires.org.

About Star Wars: Force for Change

Star Wars: Force for Change aims to create transformation and change in the lives of kids by helping to bridge the STEM skills gap, utilizing the fun and intrigue of Star Wars storytelling to inspire innovation, help build confidence and ignite curiosity. In doing so, Star Wars: Force for Change hopes to embolden and motivate the next generation of heroes and innovators, while also empowering the Star Wars fan community to use their fandom for good.

 

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