The Community Education Building, 1200 N. French St., Wilmington, will host the launch the FIRST Lego League robotics team at 4 p.m. Oct. 24 in the CEB Library.

David Miller, 17 and a Mount Pleasant High School junior, will lead a team of seven Great Oaks Charter and Kuumba Academy students. FIRST’s — For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology — mission is “to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication and leadership.”

Miller is looking forward to the challenge.

“What I hope to accomplish with this LEGO League team is to provide my community with an incredible STEM opportunity that I never had access to as a young child,” said Miller.

A Wilmington native, Miller is in the International Baccalaureate program and has been a long time member of Mount Pleasant High School’s robotics team.

“I want to bring STEM to my under-served community and help spark a passion for STEM in the minds of kids that live in my area and don’t have the same opportunities afforded to them that others do.”

There are four different levels of competition through the FIRST program that students can engage in. From least to most advanced, they include FIRST Lego League Jr., FIRST Lego League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competition. The four levels of FIRST help students to develop and hone an interest in STEM beginning in elementary school through high school, a pathway that helps connect students directly to higher education.

Nasir Briscoe, a 13-year-old eighth-grade Great Oaks student, said he is looking forward to participating in the program. He was first exposed to STEM in elementary school. “When I was in second grade, we use to do this coding block and I really enjoyed it,” he said. “I saw this guy on YouTube who was 14 and he was a prodigy coder when he was in college. That really inspired me.” Briscoe, who also aspires to be a coder, plans to attend Full Sail University upon graduating high school.

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