MANCHESTER, N. H. and BURBANK, CA – Lucasfilm, parent company Disney, and the global non-profit PreK-12 FIRST (For inspiration and recognition of science and technology) announced today that they are teaming up again for the 2020-2021 youth robotics season, FIRST GAME CHANGERS, powered by Star Wars: Force for Change. In this year's sports and fitness season, students around the world will take part in robotics challenges and find out what it means to be "Forces for Change" by revolutionizing the way we play and move so that people of all abilities and skills can participate.
Ongoing collaboration with FIRST, a global robotics community that reaches more than 679,000 students in over 100 countries, enables Disney and Lucasfilm to bring science, technology, engineering, and math learning (STEM) to more young people around the world Expanding the World to Help Them Imagine a better and fuller future. As a newly recognized FIRST Strategic Partner, focusing on breaking down barriers for blacks, indigenous people and colored people (BIPOC), LatinX and students, Disney and Lucasfilm offer additional financial support as well as mentoring and storytelling opportunities to inspire the next generation and to strengthen and diversify interest in scientific and technological careers.
"We are very excited to work with FIRST again this year and to attract young people to STEM learning," said Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm. "Raising our youth and giving students of all backgrounds access to FIRST programs has never been more important. I can't wait to see the talent and potential of this new season."
During the 2019-2020 FIRST season, FIRST, with funding from Disney and Lucasfilm, expanded access to STEM programs to 112,000 students in underserved and underrepresented communities, and impacted 10,000 robot teams through its equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives. This year, Disney and Lucasfilm will continue to provide more hands-on learning opportunities and mentoring for teens so that they not only think big, but develop the skills needed to become the next generation of heroes and innovators.
"With the generous financial and creative support of Disney and Lucasfilm during our 2019-2020 season, youth participation in FIRST programs grew 18 percent globally and 20 percent in underserved and underrepresented US communities," said Larry Cohen, president of FIRST. “When our season was disrupted by the pandemic, students were inspired by the FIRST core values and call to be a“ force for change ”to support their local communities when needed. FIRST's mission has never been more important and we are fortunate enough to continue our relationship with Disney and Lucasfilm to create a more inclusive culture and build a better future. "
For more information on how to get involved in FIRST GAME CHANGERS
Star Wars: Force for Change can be found at firstinspires.org/2021season.