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Food Factor - The 2011/12 FLL Project

Food Factor - Color Logo 1The FIRST Lego League Project challenge this season was to investigate our food and find one way to improve its safe delivery. Some questions every team had to consider were: Where does our food come from? How is it grown? Where has it been? Who handled it? How did it get to our kitchen cupboard? Who protected it along the way? How did they prevent spoiling and contamination? How did they decide which food was good and which was spoiled or contaminated?

To find out about all these threads, our team (The Igutechs) conducted a lot of research. We started out with a comprehensive food safety survey at the DaVinci Science Center, we pulled up all sorts of online resources, discussed and brainstormed with teachers and parents and finally, we consulted two experts in this field: The Food and Human Safety Coordinator in our local Wegmans supermarket and the Director of a commercial kitchen serving food to more than 3,000 students daily.

The FLL Food Factor Challenge required every team to:

  • Identify a food-contamination related problem
  • Create an innovative solution
  • Share the solution with the community
  • Create a 5-minute presentation

Food Bots

On June 4, the FIRST Lego League Team 'Igutech' exhibited at the Da Vinci Science center in Allentown, PA. The team (seven 6th graders) set up seven different stations to share their experience with Lego robotics, programming and the FIRST Lego League.

At one of the stations, visitors were given three minutes to build a Lego robot model combatting 'food contamination'. Here are some of the creative results.

Looking forward to your comments or to receiving additional designs.


Robot's name: B203125

Purpose: Squishes the germs out of fruit and then runs over the germs

Designer: Sam R. (12)


Robot's name: Bob the Food Bot

Purpose: Used to suck in food, spin it on orange plate, suck in germs and bacteria and spit it out of a tube

Designer: Seth R. (12)


Robot's name: Sparky

Purpose: Baking

Designer: Zachary (7)

food-bot_contact (6)

Robot's name: Contact

Purpose: Contacts space

Designer: Michael (10)


Robot's name: Rain Robot

Purpose: to protect me from rain

Designer: Alex (6 3/4)


Robot's name: Kicking Machine

Purpose: kicking garbage out of the way

Designer: Kevin (11)


Robot's name:

Purpose: unknown



Robot's name:

Purpose: unknown



Robot's name:

Purpose: unknown



Robot's name





Igutech Fieldtrip to Atmos Inc.

Wegmans-logo [JS 10-09-11]  Last WeWegmans_111005-09dnesday, we had a very interesting fieldtrip to the Wegmans grocery store in Allentown. Mr. Daniel Len, Food and Human Safety Coordinator, gave us a tour through different departments of his store and explained us all about food safety. We learned about how they keep their food fresh, where the food comes from and how to keep potential bacteria from going from food to food, preventing cross contamination. One way is to keep ready-to-eat food separate from food that needs to be cooked before eating. Dan uses a laser thermometer to test food containers, food surfaces, and even the bathroom water temperature. The laser checks the temperature to make sure all of the food has the right amount of refrigeration or heating (for the food bar). That was just one of the many ways Dan can help out his company. He is responsible for teaching and training all the employees of the store from truck drivers to managers. He also discussed the importance of personal hygiene like proper hand washing. Thanks again to Dan at Wegmans for sharing his knowledge and for staying late on a workday to answer the many questions our team had regarding food safety at a grocery store.