Disney Supports STEM Education & FIRST LEGO League
Shawn Wasserman posted on January 01, 2015 |
International Lego robotics competition gets mouse-house backing

Image courtesy of the FIRST Lego League.

Disney has thrown their support behind the First LEGO League (FLL) competition. The international student competition is designed to get kids, aged 9-16, interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

The FLL competition involves student teams building and programming robots using LEGO MINDSTORM sets. These robots are then tasked to perform activates such as shooting projectiles into targets, and unlatching traps. The competition is designed to develop programming, control, design, technology, research, strategy, math, and teamwork skills.

Image courtesy of Disney.
Disney’s support for the Lego competition was, in part, inspired by the release of their movie Big Hero 6. The film features a collection of young geniuses that fight crime with their STEM inventions and robot named Baymax. A Marvel comic of the same name acted as the film’s inspiration.

This year’s UK FLL competition featured a video message from Big Hero 6’s directors. It outlined the importance of developing STEM skills in our youth. It also announced that the winners of the competition’s Core Value Award in the UK and Ireland will receive a Baymax trophy. The winners will be announced in February of 2015. The winning UK teams will then move onto the FIRST LEGO League World Festival in St Louis, Missouri in April 2015.

In the UK, FLL’s operational partner in the UK is the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET). Their support for the competition is part of the IET’s commitment to promote STEM to the next generation of engineers.

IET’s Head of Education, Gareth James, said “It’s great to have Disney on board for this year’s FIRST LEGO League competition as it will help to grow awareness of robotics and engineering among a much wider audience – and hopefully get the message to young children that studying STEM can lead to fascinating and exciting careers.”

Much like North America, “The UK is currently facing a significant skills gap in engineering and technology. It is predicted that we will need 87,000 new engineers each year for the next decade. With help from Disney, we want to attract more and younger people to things like engineering and robotics, so that they consider pursuing careers in these areas in later life,” said James.

If you are looking to get a young one interested in STEM then I would suggest Big Hero 6. It was a lot of fun and very inspirational.

Source The IET

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