|[August 16, 2011]
President Obama Makes Surprise Appearance on "i.am.FIRST - Science is Rock and Roll"
MANCHESTER, N.H. --(Business Wire)--
Emphasizing the importance of science education to spur innovation in
the U.S., President Barack Obama rallied robotics fans around the
country Sunday night when he kicked off "i.am.FIRST - Science
is Rock and Roll" on The ABC Television Network.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza). Earlier this year, President Obama invited FIRST students to The White House and congratulated them for their accomplishments in robotics, science and engineering.
"Here tonight we share a love of Science, Technology, Math and
Engineering, and most importantly the spirit of invention. That's the
spirit that made America the most innovative country in the world," said
President Obama. "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. If they study hard in math and science,
then their futures are going to be bright and so is America's," he
The President's message introduced "i.am.FIRST," an
electric hour of highlights from the 2010-2011 FIRST®
competition season and the 2011 FIRST Championship, where 30,000
students, fans, families, educators and industry leaders came together
last April at the Edward Jones Dome, in St. Louis, to celebrate the
engineering prowess of talented students from around the world.
The groundbreaking ABC back-to-school special was produced by will.i.am,
frontman for The Black Eyed Peas. It featured live musical performances
by The Black Eyed Peas and Willow Smith before an enthusiastic crowd of
30,000 robotics fans, and special appearances by such celebrities as
Justin Bieber, Jack Black, Bono, Miranda Cosgrove, Miley Cyrus, Josh
Duhamel, Willow Smith, Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake and
"I produced "i.am.FIRST - Sciene is Rock and Roll" to
make some noise about the country's best and brightest students
competing in the FIRST Championship," said will.i.am. "Every kid
deserves a good education and encouragement to find and follow their
passion. Once kids find a topic that they are passionate about, it
sparks their drive to dig in and learn the skills and information they
need to be successful whether it is in music, arts, fashion or science
"FIRST and I are so pleased and grateful to have the incredible
support of will.i.am," said Dean Kamen, president of DEKA and FIRST
founder. "He's the 'real deal' - he gets it and genuinely wants to help
kids get to a better place in their lives and see our country once again
become an engine for innovation. The FIRST community cannot thank
him enough for shining a spotlight on our robotics programs."
For more information, visit www.usfirst.org.
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 (News - Alert)®) 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 and the FIRST logo are registered
trademarks of the United States Foundation For Inspiration and
Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST). LEGO® is
a registered trademark of The LEGO Group.
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