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Lucasfilm, Disney and FIRST inspire students with robotics challenges

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Lucasfilm and Disney have partnered with FIRST once again for the 2020/21 youth robotics season, First Game Changers, powered by Star Wars: Force for Change.

Disney, Lucasfilm and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) have joined forces to inspire the next generation of innovators.

The announcement video features some familiar faces from Star Wars, including Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca).

In this year’s sports and fitness-themed season, students across the globe will compete in robotics challenges, exploring what it means to be ‘forces for change’.

The ongoing collaboration with FIRST allows Disney and Lucasfilm to expand access to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) learning to more young people.

Watch announcement video featuring Mark Hamill

Star Wars: Force for Change is a philanthropic initiative providing students with financial, in-kind and mentorship resources.

Walt Disney Imagineering has provided sponsorship and mentorship to FIRST for more than two decades,  offering educational opportunities featuring the characters, stories and experiences of Star Wars.

Some of these are inspired by the world of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with FIRST again this year and engage young people in STEM learning,” said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.

Students compete in robotics challenges with FIRST

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“Educating our youth and providing access to FIRST programs for students of all backgrounds has never been so important as it is right now.

“I can’t wait to see the talent and potential this new season brings.”

On the subject of robots, Disney Research has unveiled a skinless bot that can imitate human facial movements as part of its paper ‘Realistic and Interactive Robot Gaze’.

Disney Imagineers also created an animatronic Spider-Man, who will soon be swinging above the rooftops of Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure.

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Bea Mitchell

A journalist specialising in entertainment and attractions, Bea loves theme parks (mainly Disney) and is particularly interested in things of a gothic, horror or fantasy nature.

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