You can help Lego Bistro earn the FLL Global Innovation Award! Please use this link to be taken to the FLL site where you can vote daily for our invention: Grocery Store Produce Germ Eliminator.

The top 10 teams will get their idea reviewed by the final panel of judges. The top winner will receive a $250,000 grant to develop and market their idea.

Use this link to place your vote. No personal information is needed--it is a simple 10 second process. Voting identification is based on your IP address. You can vote once for each 24 hour period!

http://fllinnovationaward.firstlegoleague.org/grocery-store-produce-germ-eliminator

Thursday, March 1

Voting Has Ended

Thank you to everyone for your magnificent support!  The FLL Global Innovation Award voting period has ended.  Over the last week or so of voting, Lego Bistro saw our team in the top ten several times, once as high as 6th place, but in the end we slipped to 11th. Our vote count was 22, 390!  Kudos to you for your help and support.  We have had a magnificent season and look forward to many more!

In case you are wondering, voting is not the only way to qualify for the Global Innovation Award (although it is definitely the most exciting).  Here is the information on how the winner is ultimately selected:



Wednesday, February 22

How Are Produce, Germs, and a Robot Related?

There are several parts to every FLL competition. Obviously, the robot is a huge part of the challenge, since this is a robotics club. Each FLL team designs, builds, and programs an NXT robot that will accomplish certain challenges on the game board. Some of the challenges were illustrated in the video below. The team gets points for each challenge successfully completed in 2.5 minutes of competition time. It is fun and exciting to watch the teams compete head-to-head on the competition tables at events. This is also the part you often see when the news covers stories on FLL teams.

The project is a separate part of the competition. (Funny--some of our friends wonder if the invention is made of legos! Answer: No!) Every year FLL has a different theme and every team who wants to compete must come up with an innovative solution (invention) to a real-world problem within the theme. In 2011, the theme was "Food Factor" and teams all over the world had to come up with an idea to keep food safer. Lego Bistro spent many hours of research related to food problems, consulting with professionals in the food industry, and brainstorming ideas. Once they finalized the project idea they spent many more hours in researching that specific idea, consulting with professionals including grocery store managers, a plumber, and attorneys. They also conducted a science experiment to answer some of the questions the produce managers had.

Eventually Lego Bistro fine-tuned their idea and presented it at the state competition along with a diagram, explanation, and skit with music. The project presentation was behind closed doors--not even the coach could be there--with only the 10 team members of Lego Bistro and the panel of judges. Other parts of the state competition included 3 sessions of robot competitions, a robot design judging session, and a teamwork judging session (the team had to perform a zany challenge together, and the judges rated them based on how well they worked together).

The kids of Lego Bistro shined at State, and their invention continues to do well in the global arena, where they are hoping to end the competition in the top ten, so that the invention will get a chance to be seen by the finalist judges. You can help these ten kids by voting every day until March 1st.

Monday, February 20

Lego Bistro's New Motto

Stick to your task till it sticks to you.
Beginners are many, but enders are few.
Honor, power, place, and praise
Will come, in time, to the one who stays.
Stick to your task till it sticks to you.
Bend at it, sweat at it, smile at it too;
For out of the bend and the sweat and the smile
Will come life's victories, after a while.

Author Unknown

Friday, February 17

Thank you to all of you! (AND KEEP VOTING!)

When I consider how far this group has come, I can't believe it. We began at my dining room table, sharing our hopes about this FLL season and setting goals based on what the kids wanted to accomplish. As a coach, my job has never been to feed them what they need to know, but to connect them with the resources and mentors they need to accomplish their goals. It really is ALL ABOUT THE KIDS!

It is miraculous to watch these kids and think about the baby steps they've taken to get past each hurdle along the way. When we entered the Global Innovation Award race, I wasn't sure they could reach the top ten, but KNOWING they have a solid innovation idea, decided to think positively. With your help, today we passed 9,000 votes, and are (for the moment) in 6th place, worldwide! With the momentum we've got I now think the #1 spot is within reach . . . but if we slow down now, other teams can quickly eclipse us. Let's keep this train rolling! Voting continues until March 1st.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR BEING PART OF THIS EXPERIENCE!!!

Good Things Utah

Lego Bistro had a fantastic time this morning on Good Things Utah! abc4 has been SO gracious and supportive! View the link below for the full segment:

Video and article on abc4.com


Friday, February 3

One Team Brings Kids From Five Local Schools Together

How many kids do you know who have entered an invention in an international competition and made it to the top 20 globally? You have one FLL team from Salt Lake County who has done just that, and they are still climbing the charts.

Lego Bistro, a rookie team from Salt Lake County, won the Innovation Solution Award at this year's Utah State FLL competition. Their idea is a method of cleaning fresh produce to avoid Listeria outbreaks and costly recalls. Since earning the state award, they have entered a global competition to compete for the Edison Global Innovation Award: An award that includes a grant of $250,000 to develop and market their innovative solution. 61 countries are eligible to enter the contest. Since entering in late January, this Utah team has risen to the top 20 innovative solutions globally, via online voting.

Lego Bistro is a 4H sponsored robotics group comprised of kids ages 9-13 from 5 different schools in the Herriman and Riverton areas, plus a Provo eSchool and a homeschooled student. Typically, students from these communities would be rivals, but in this case the kids are working together. "Work" is definitely the key word here. The team has been meeting each week since September--averaging 50 man-hours per week--to develop their idea, seek mentors to teach them how to make it a reality, and share it with grocery stores in the community. They have met with a Stouffer's Foods manager, a water treatment specialist from Los Angeles, a plumber, several produce managers, and even an investment capitol attorney and a patent attorney. Life just got a lot bigger for these 10 kids from small communities in Utah. They are learning what it means to dream big, how it feels to reach goals, and how they can impact the world.

FIRST Lego League is the fastest growing recreational sport in Utah. In 2010, there were about 50 teams competing. For the 2011 season, there were over 150. Next year Kathy Hajeb, director of Utah FLL, predicts there with be over 300 teams competing in Lego League groups throughout the state.

For more infomation about Lego Bistro and how you can help this local team get to the top 10 in the Edison competition, visit http://legobistro.blogspot.com/

Information about the Edison Global Innovation Award is here: http://fllinnovationaward.firstlegoleague.org/

Information about the 2011 FLL challenges is here: http://firstlegoleague.org/challenge/2011foodfactor

Sunday, January 29

Salt Lake Tribune Post About the FLL Championship

Salt Lake Tribune Highlights the Winners of the Utah FLL Championship

Happy Day!

Lego Bistro had a blast at the Utah FIRST Lego League Championship yesterday. Lego Bistro earned themselves the "Innovative Solution Award" and the judges comment was "They just nailed it!"

You can expect great things from this team! Friday we met with Antczak Polich Law, one of our sponsors, who mentored the team by helping them think through the details that remain to be discovered. Val Antczak let them know he had done his own research and found that the FDA has already approved the solution the team is proposing. They simply need to ensure that the method they are proposing falls within the acceptable use guidelines of the government.

The next step? Earning a development grant that will allow Lego Bistro to take their idea to market. Voting continues, and Lego Bistro is eligible to win big--$250,000 big-- through the FLL Global Innovation Award. Vote daily to ensure their idea makes it to the top 10 competitors. Currently, we are in 66th place--not bad for a team that just entered this race a few days ago, but we need to make significant progress. You can help by voting daily!

http://fllinnovationaward.firstlegoleague.org/grocery-store-produce-germ-eliminator

Thursday, January 26

VOTE NOW! And pass the link on!


You can help Lego Bistro earn the FLL Global Innovation Award! Please vote daily for our invention: Grocery Store Produce Germ Eliminator.

Use this link to place your vote. You can vote once for each 24 hour period!

http://fllinnovationaward.firstlegoleague.org/grocery-store-produce-germ-eliminator

Grocery Store Produce Germ Eliminator

You've bought produce from a grocery store before, and so Lego Bistro's project idea can help you! Our team's idea is a simple solution that helps reduce or eliminate surface bacteria on produce, helping produce distributors and consumers.

All fresh produce has bacteria on it, like e-coli, salmonella and Listeria. Listeria is an especially nasty kind of bacteria because it continues to grow in cold temperatures. It can be killed by cooking food, but we don't cook all our fresh fruits and vegetables. Because people can get sick and even die from these bacteria, its presence can lead to costly produce recalls. Two recent examples of Listeria contaminated produce are the lettuce and cantaloupe recalls in 2011.

In developing a solution to avoid these costly recalls, the team studied science articles. We also talked to a manager at Stauffer's Foods, a water treatment specialist from Los Angeles, California, and a plumber who has experience installing chemical pumps. We spoke with three produce managers at grocery stores in our area about our idea, and even performed an experiment to decide which cleaner to use and make sure it wouldn't adversely affect the produce.


Our innovative idea includes a pump that is installed in-line with produce sprayers at the wet-rack of grocery stores. The pump forces a tested solution into the purified water which safely kills surface bacteria, like listeria, off produce. Our team has studied several different sources to find just the right solution. We have also performed an experiment to help us find one that will clean without damaging the produce. In our experiment, we found that produce sprayed with the solution actually lasted longer than produce that was sprayed with purified water alone! Besides being effective, it is also completely safe to use. When we spoke with grocery store managers to present our idea, two of three managers were interesting in installing the pump and solution. Lego Bistro is currently working toward FDA approval to use this solution in grocery stores.

Lego Bistro to compete at state championship!

Lego Bistro will be participating in a FIRST Lego League robotics championship at the University of Utah. To participate, the team had to prepare presentations in 3 categories:

**robotics challenges (they design, built, and program a Lego NXT robot--they are judged on their robot and programming designs and go head to head with other teams to see which team can score the most points in 2.5 minutes),

**teamwork (they are given a group task and are judged on how well they work together), and

**a project (they are judged on their innovative solution to a real world problem related to food borne illness).

The category our team really shines in is the project. We earned first place for that category at our regional competition. It is essentially a chemical injector pump that is installed in-line at the grocery store produce areas to spray a special solution on fruits and vegetables to help kill bacteria on the surface of the produce. In addition to hours of research, the team has performed an experiment to determine the best solution, met with a plumber to design a model of their idea, and presented to several grocery stores in our area. They found that produce sprayed with the special solution actually lasts longer than produce sprayed with purified water (as is used currently in the stores). The installation and upkeep of the system is affordable, and the last produce manager the team talked to was interested in installing it--but for one thing: FDA approval. So, the team decided to speak with a lawyer about the FDA approval process. That will happen this week. The next step for the team is applying for the Edison Global Innovation Award--more info on that later!

The state finals are all day this Saturday. Some of you locals might like to be there! Although the judging is closed to the public (even coaches don't get to watch), the robot challenges are open and fun to watch. If you'd like to come cheer us on, wear red and look for Lego Bistro!

For more information on Saturday's event:

http://www.utfll.utah.edu/2011-2012championship.php