FIRST LEGO League: Global Innovation Award for Food Safety

Dean Kamen speaks at FLL GIA

What would it be like to be in the room when the first telephone was used or the first electric toaster? That is the kind of excitement that filled a large hall at the US Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, VA today. Two teams of kids were awarded first place at the second annual FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award (GIA) Ceremony. (Click here for Super Chef‘s previous articles on FIRST LEGO League)

According to the press release: First place winners were each awarded up to $250,000 in services and support from the award’s Go-To-Market Sponsor, Edison Nation, to help bring their ideas to market. Both teams will also be featured on the Emmy award-winning PBS television show Everyday Edisons.

Why is this important to chefs and foodies? The kids have invented food safety solutions that will help keep people healthy. Food safety impacts everyone who eats – and food illnesses lead to 3,000 deaths a year in the US alone. All of FIRST LEGO League’s 18,000 teams came up with innovations and inventions to solve tough food safety problems. 272 teams submitted their inventions for the GIA from 13 different countries. The two teams are:

First Place Winner: Moderately Confused of Dublin, Ohio, invented the Erasable Barcode to prevent the sale of meat stored at improper temperatures at grocery storesFirst Place Winner: S.I.S. Robotic Revolution of Shelton, Conn., invented the Smart Sticker to indicate whether or not food has been stored at the appropriate temperature.

The FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg spoke about the importance of food safety: “We have a globalized food supply; we have to have globalized solution.” Inventor Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST, added: “We are in a constant race between technical innovation and catastrophe. I hope catastrophe doesn’t win.” FIRST helps to inspire children, their mentors, parents, teachers, and companies, to become innovators and strive for excellence in education.

Super Chef thanks all the chefs who reached out to teams, mentored children, and helped them reach their goals.

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