MANCHESTER, N.H. and STAVANGER, Norway, Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization that inspires young people's interest and participation in science and technology, announced today that Norwegian energy company Statoil, a long-running regional sponsor of FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®), has signed up as an FLL Global Sponsor – the highest sponsorship level granted by FIRST LEGO League – for an initial three years.
"Our world is facing major challenges. FIRST LEGO League gets children excited about science and technology and teaches them how to solve problems and make positive contributions to society," says Michele Wood, Head of brand and internal communications, Statoil North America. "We're pleased to give our support to talented young people in sport, culture, and education, helping them to become the heroes of tomorrow."
Statoil's commitment of close to $1 million over three years will bolster the FLL global program efforts and fund teams and FLL tournaments in Houston, Texas, and Calgary, Alberta in the first year, with additional local tournaments added globally in years two and three. The agreement also offers Statoil employees opportunities for local engagement as FLL Mentors and Volunteers.
Statoil, which has sponsored FLL in Scandinavia for 10 years, extended the partnership to engage and inspire even more students globally in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In the 2010-2011 season, more than 170,000 children from 56 countries are expected to participate in FLL.
"Statoil clearly shares the FIRST philosophy that today's culture can be positively transformed by inspiring young people," said FIRST President Jon Dudas. "With its generous contribution to the FIRST LEGO League program, Statoil helps us turn the FIRST vision of inspiring young people's interest and participation in science and technology into a reality."
FIRST LEGO League Director Anna Maenhout said, "The importance of pairing our children with an engaged and accomplished group of committed adults cannot be overestimated. Professionals such as those at Statoil will help to promote FLL excellence and core values to our young people worldwide."
Statoil is an international energy company with operations in 34 countries. Building on more than 35 years of experience from oil and gas production on the Norwegian continental shelf, it is committed to accommodating the world's energy needs in a responsible manner, applying technology and creating innovative business solutions. It is headquartered in Norway with 20,000 employees worldwide, and is listed on the New York and Oslo stock exchanges.
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 more than $14 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. and Canada), 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. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.
FIRST® is a registered trademark of the United States Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (US FIRST). LEGO® is a registered trademark of The LEGO Group. FIRST® LEGO® League, Junior FIRST® LEGO® League, FLL® and Jr.FLL™ are jointly held trademarks of US FIRST and The LEGO Group.