BASF presented a $5,000 donation to Central Middle School in Ascension Parish to launch a robotics team that will compete in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL). BASF is piloting the program at Central Middle School with the intent of forming additional teams at other middle schools throughout Ascension Parish.
This is the latest initiative in the company’s ongoing effort to promote and improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in schools. The company also sponsors the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC®) team of Ascension Parish high school students based at East Ascension High School.
Employees from the BASF Geismar site will mentor the students on the Central Middle School team throughout the program. Students who participate in the high school Ascension Robotics team will also support the junior-level team as mentors, helping to develop a legacy of students who are engaged in STEM activities throughout Ascension Parish.
“Robotics is an exciting field that challenges students to combine academics and creativity in team projects that have a direct link to real-world industry applications," said Tom Yura, senior vice president and manager of the BASF site in Geismar, Louisiana. “Helping to create and mentor these robotics teams is a great example of how industry can support STEM education and inspire the next generation of scientists, researchers, inventors and innovators."
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a multinational non-profit organization that is working to promote science, math, engineering, and technology. FIRST provides students in grades K-12 with the opportunity to discover the excitement and rewards of science and technology through exciting, mentor-based programs. In FIRST ® LEGO® League, students ages 9-14 work alongside adult mentors to design, build and program autonomous robots and create an innovative solution to a real-world problem as part of their research project.
“Through BASF’s continued support of school-based initiatives like the creation of the junior robotics team and the sponsorship of the high school robotics program, our students are able to gain hands-on knowledge and experience in STEM, preparing them to be ready for post-s econdary education and a career, ” said Ascension Parish Superintendent Patrice Pujol. “It is through the generous support of our business partners like BASF that Ascension Parish Public Schools stand among the top rated school systems in the state of Louisiana.”