FIRST, the LEGO Foundation and LEGO Education Extend ‘Graduation Grants’ to FIRST Robotics Teams Globally

MANCHESTER, N.H., June 19, 2012 FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, announced that Graduation Grants will be extended to global FIRST robotics teams that continue their participation in the FIRST family of robotics programs. FIRST, in cooperation with the LEGO® Foundation and LEGO® Education, will earmark a portion of the LEGO grant amount to fund newly formed global  FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) teams that include graduates from FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) teams.

The LEGO Foundation and LEGO Education grant will offset the costs of robotics parts and materials for eligible global teams. In addition, the grant encourages FIRST students worldwide to continue their progression within the FIRST family of robotics programs, which offers a total of nearly $15 million in college scholarships.

“We’re thrilled with the advancement of students taking place within the FIRST family of robotics programs, especially our global teams,” said Ken Johnson, Director of FIRST Tech Challenge. “Designating funds to help global teams goes a long way to support this effort."   

The LEGO Foundation is as always a strong believer in FIRST and has again willingly supported the further progression of FIRST programs worldwide that will give even more children the opportunity to work with robotics. 

About the LEGO Foundation

The LEGO Foundation was established in 1986 and bases all its activities on the belief that every child has the right to play and learn. It owns 25% of the LEGO Group through its investment company. The LEGO Foundation makes LEGO products accessible and applicable for underprivileged children in the world through product donations, funding and educational support combined with teacher training and research. The goal is to create a positive impact by inspiring and developing children and youth to become active citizens – and to empower them to create their own future - through fun, creativity and high quality learning.

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 three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and nearly $15 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST ® Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for high-school students, FIRST ® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) and Junior FIRST® LEGO®League (Jr.FLL®) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

# # #

FIRST®, the FIRST® logo, FIRST® Robotics Competition, FRC®, FIRST® Tech Challenge, FTC®, and Gracious Professionalism® are registered trademarks of the United States Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®). LEGO® is a registered trademarks of The LEGO Group. FIRST® LEGO® League, FLL®, Junior FIRST® LEGO® League, and Jr.FLL® are jointly held trademarks of FIRST and The LEGO Group.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

©2012 FIRST and The LEGO Group. All rights reserved.