President Obama joined Dean Kamen, will.i.am and a host of celebrities to launch i.am.FIRST – Science is Rock and Roll in the United States last month.
i.am.FIRST was an hour-long television programme that was broadcast on The ABC Television Network to emphasise the importance of science education to spur innovation.
Introducing i.am.FIRST, President Obama said “Here tonight we share a love of Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering, and most importantly the spirit of invention. We need our young people to keep that spirit alive… we need to encourage our kids and invest in their education. We need to give them the chance to become the next generation of scientists and engineers and entrepreneurs.“
Event producer will.i.am wanted the show to “make some noise about the best and brightest students competing in the FIRST® Championships.” Special appearances were made during the show by a number of celebrities including Justin Bieber, Jack Black, Bono, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake.
FIRST® LEGO® League Food Factor Challenge
Building on the challenge to boost young people’s interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), and to develop real world skills such as problem solving, team working and communication, FIRST® LEGO® League have launched the Food Factor Challenge for 2011.
The challenge encourages teams build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® plus research and find a solution to a real-life food safety issue. This year’s theme is ‘Food Factor’, focusing on food safety and how science and technology can help to combat contamination.
Teams of students aged 9-16 are eligible to enter and they have just ten weeks to sign up and complete the first stage of their mission. Regional heats lead to a UK and Ireland final in January, with the winning team sent to St Louis, in the United States, in April, to compete against teams from 84 countries.
For more information and to enter take a look at http://www.firstlegoleague.org/