A day after the big Episode IX reveal, Disney and subsidiary Lucas film announced that it will be donating $1.5 million to FIRST. The non-profit group was founded by Dean Kamen in 1989 to help teach STEM through initiatives like robotics competitions.
Disney’s money will go to provide education and outreach to the underserved communities on which FIRST focuses. Details are pretty thin on precisely what the partnership will entail, but Disney’s certainly got a lot to gain from this sort of outreach — and Lucasfilm knows a thing or two about robots.
The Star Wars: Force for Change announcement was made in conjunction with Lucasfilm’s annual Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. Yesterday the event hosted a panel with the cast of the upcoming film that included a teaser trailer and title reveal.
“Star Wars has always inspired young people to look past what is and imagine a world beyond,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in a release tied to the news. “It is crucial that we pass on the importance of science and technology to young people—they will be the ones who will have to confront the global challenges that lie ahead. To support this effort, Lucasfilm and Disney are teaming up with FIRST to bring learning opportunities and mentorship to the next generation of innovators.”
It’s been a good week for FIRST investments. Just yesterday Amazon announced its own commitment to the group’s robotics offerings.