AP sponsored teams from Japan receive special recognition among over 7500 teams from 31 countries
Tokyo — Three Japanese SAP sponsored teams, consisting of 24 children between the ages 9 and 15, competed in this year’s Ocean Odyssey Challenge at the FIRST LEGO League World Festival in Atlanta (Georgia, USA) and Open European Championship in Eindhoven (the Netherlands).
In the United States, the team SAP Eleven won Honorable Mention in Team Spirit and the team SAP Edisons won both Honorable Mention in Programming and 3rd place in Teamwork. In the Netherlands, the team SAP Light Birds didn’t win any prizes but ended at a very respectable 15th place in robot performance.
In 2005, 7500 teams from 31 countries took part in FIRST LEGO League (FLL), a hands-on robotics program created in a partnership between U.S.-based not-for-profit organization FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and The LEGO Group. The FLL program combines science and fun by engaging children and teenagers in robotics design, scientific research, and tournament competition. It is designed to instill enthusiasm for science and technology in the next generation, encouraging children to examine and explore their own creativity while working in teams.
The FIRST LEGO League has an annual theme. This year’s theme, Ocean Odyssey, challenged the children to explore the depths of our oceans and seas, helping maintain their health, biodiversity and productivity for future generations. Research subjects were water pollution, environmental protection, ocean research and water recreation.
SAP’s involvement in FLL and joining efforts with FIRST are part of SAP’s global corporate citizenship program. SAP recognizes and embraces its responsibility to contribute actively to society, fostering advances in education, technology and innovation. Through participation in and support of FIRST LEGO League, SAP seeks to cultivate the innovative spirit of children, helping youngsters develop their own skills, creativity and solutions in working toward a better tomorrow for themselves and their communities
In joining the program, SAP also took the opportunity to create its first worldwide employee volunteer initiative, providing an opportunity to engage with local communities to help children recognize and develop innovative skills. The initiative has been successful with 170 SAP employees stepping forward to participate as coaches and mentors for a total of 700 children.
SAP Japan will also be actively engaged in FLL in 2006. The FLL challenge for 2006 is “Nano Quest.” In this challenge, teams will explore traditional sciences at the molecular level to uncover the potential within them to create new products and solutions previously unimaginable. In September, the missions and research assignment will be announced to the teams.
SAP Japan will continue to expand its corporate citizenship program. Besides participating in the FLL, SAP Japan currently collaborates with 17 universities within Japan by providing SAP products, and lectures on various topics.
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, their schools and their communities. Based in Manchester, NH, 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 the support of many of the world’s most well-known companies, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition for high-school students and the FIRST LEGO League for children 9-14 years old (10-16 outside the US and Canada). To learn more about FIRST go to http://www.usfirst.org.
About The LEGO Group
The LEGO Group is a privately held, family-owned company, based in Billund, Denmark. It was founded in 1932 and today the group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of play materials for children, employing approximately 7,400 people globally. The LEGO Group is committed to the development of children’s creative and imaginative abilities. LEGO products can be purchased in more than 130 countries. (Additional information at http://www.LEGO.com)