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.

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