In the Robotics House:
BY DEB PETERSON for stltoday.com
LOOKING UP • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, is visiting the FIRST Championship this weekend at the Edward Jones Dome with Dean Kamen, founder of the not-for-profit organization.
Kamen, who is the inventor of the Segway, founded FIRST, which is an acronym for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” in 1989. The goal of FIRST is to get students interested in science, technology, and engineering.
Abdul-Jabbar is an advocate of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, which is why he’s at the competition. He plans to teach the FIRST kids how to shoot hoops for the basketball-themed “Rebound Rumble,” a game challenge for the robotics competition.
He is also expecting to coach a live robotics match, sign books, meet teams, operate a robot and speak at the competition’s ceremonies.
In addition to his legendary basketball career, Abdul-Jabbar, 65, has written seven books. His latest is a children’s book, “What Color is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors.”
He also founded the Skyhook Foundation, which is dedicated to inspiring youth to exercise their minds and realize the power of knowledge. The foundation identifies mentors who can inspire young people to pursue careers as innovators in the same way they envision being athletes or entertainers.