Middle School Robotics Team Explores Patenting Food Contamination Solution
FIRST® Lego League team, The Rainbow Cows, is exploring how to patent a solution to a food safety problem. This team is an amazing group of middle school students who have created an innovative patentable solution as part of this year’s FIRST® Lego League Food Factor Challenge. Check out these student-produced videos below to find out more.
Every year FIRST® creates a challenge for the kids to identify a problem and create a solution to the problem. This year’s challenge is called the Food Factor and centers on food safety. The Rainbow Cows researched beef production and selected the problem of ground beef contamination at the dinner table. Recent recalls of ground beef have highlighted for the team that eating contaminated food can cause grave illness and death.
After researching the problem and brainstorming solutions the team hit upon a novel idea to package ground beef with an absorbent paper treated with food safe chemicals. These chemicals turn color in the presence of bacterial contamination. So imagine that you buy some ground beef and store it in the refrigerator. Two days later you pull out the package and notice a green color on the paper under the beef. That is your sign the beef is contaminated and should not be consumed.
The Rainbow Cows and many other teams will present their research and solution at a regional tournament held at L.C. Bird high school on November 5th.
FIRST® Lego League is one of four robotics programs aimed at elementary through high school students. Students at all levels have fun with FIRST® robotics programs and learn about teamwork, science, engineering and problem solving. To learn more about FIRST® Lego League come visit one of the regional tournaments. You never know your kids just might turn to you and say “I want to be on a robotics team too.”
Article written by Eric F. Palmer