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!

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.


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

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

Information about the Edison Global Innovation Award is here:

Information about the 2011 FLL challenges is here: