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.
Information about the Edison Global Innovation Award is here: http://fllinnovationaward.
Information about the 2011 FLL challenges is here: http://firstlegoleague.org/