To encourage young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, today Monsanto announced a 3-year, $600,000 commitment to sponsor the FIRST® Championship, a renowned event in the world of competitive robotic design youth programs. St. Louis hosts the 2015 championship next week, April 22-25.
“We thank Monsanto for its support of the 2015 FIRST Championship. Due to its generosity, and that of the other FIRST Championship Sponsors, we are able to deliver this life-changing event to students from around the world,” said FIRST President, Donald E. Bossi.
FIRST challenges teams of students to design, build and program their own robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors – immersing young students in real-world engineering experiences.
“Expertise in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is central to meeting the challenge of making a balanced meal accessible to everyone around the world, while protecting natural resources,” said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Vice President of Global Contributions and Employee Engagement. “Monsanto is committed to investing in the next generation of scientists through hands-on education programs like FIRST Robotics. We’re honored to partner with the organization.”
Patterson will kick off the opening ceremony of the 2015 FIRST Championship on April 23 at 6 p.m. at the America’s Center in downtown St. Louis.
Like many companies, Monsanto views sparking young people’s interest and development in STEM as critical to meeting the needs of the future – in a broad range of careers from food production to data science.
“Science has incredible power to uplift the human condition. As parents, educators and community members, we need to encourage our young people to embrace curiosity and search for solutions that will benefit the generations to come,” added Patterson.
Monsanto’s sponsorship of the FIRST Championship continues the company’s support of programs that improve STEM education. In 2014, Monsanto employees reached more than 40,000 young people in St. Louis through science-related events and information, including the mentorship of three area FIRST Robotics teams. Monsanto also partners with leading youth organizations and sponsors an international scholarship program designed to help scholars gain leadership skills and tools to positively impact farmers around the world and improve the future of agriculture.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. For more information, visit www.usfirst.org.