Per-Arild Konradsen

Founder, FIRST Scandinavia

1983-1988: Education at Norwegian Institute of Technology Civil Engineer.
1988-2000: Employed at Byggcon AS as a consultant, family owned company.
2000-present: FIRST Scandinavia


ABSTRACT
New Initiative Supporting STEM in Aviation

FIRST Scandinavia is a non-profit foundation, and the aim is to stimulate children’s interest into STEM through engaging concepts where the children themselves are the driving force.

Today we are 16 people fully employed. We are located in the city of Bodø in Norway.

We are working with two concepts, FIRST LEGO League (FLL), and the Newton-room concept. We are responsible for running the robot competition FIRST LEGO LEAGUE in Norway, Sweden and Denmark in 50 cities every fall. This year we expect 16,000 participants.

The Newton-room concept is developed together with teachers, academic institutions, and industry. The development started in 2003 as a result of the lack of practical science education in primary- and middle-schools in Norway. Also, there was previously no standard infrastructure for developing and distributing good science teaching programs between schools.

A Newton room is a science room, providing students with state-of-the-art educational equipment to succeed with hands-on experiments and practical activities. The Newton room can be a shared resource between schools in a region, a municipality or classes in a specific school. 

All educational programs (Newton-modules) in a Newton-room are linked into the national curriculum.

We have Newton-rooms with focus on aquaculture, energy, robotics/mathematics and Aviation – a so-called Newton Flight Academy.

Our ambition is to establish Newton Flight Academies worldwide in cooperation with key players in the aviation industry. We believe in a long term strategy, cooperation and a clear focus on STEM education. Creating a large base of competent young people ready to enter the aviation industry. Inspiring education will be a crucial element to solve the future challenges in the industry. 

So far we have 40 Newton-rooms in Norway, and one Newton Flight Academy. The Scottish government has ordered five Newton-rooms and we are working in several other countries to spread the concept.