On Saturday, Jan. 28, kids from all across Utah used Legos to not only make cool models, but learn teamwork and how to help their community.
The University of Utah hosted the second annual Utah FIRST LEGO League Championship.
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Teams of kids ranging from eight to 14 years old from across the state competed in a Lego robotic contest as well as innovation in solving problems based around food distribution and sanitation.
The robotics competition not only tested the kids’ Lego building skills but their programming as well.
The robots had to navigate a series of tests, including picking up and moving several Lego pieces. Teams were scored on how fast their robots could accomplish the tasks without needing human assistance.
Alongside the robots also came the competition to find solutions to food safety concerns.
“We made a glove and a mitt with scrubbers on it,” said Ethan Pedersen, an eight-year-old on the Mini-Figure Mayhem team.
Their goal was to find a solution to prevent the tainted cantaloupe incident which occurred few years ago from happening again.
“The soap is made from vinegar, is all natural and doesn’t hurt you or the environment,” said River Waddoups, Patterson’s teammate.
The teams were comprised of ten children and several mentors, many of which were parents of kids on the team.
While supervising, one of the requirements was that the adults could only watch while the kids did the hard work.
“(One part of the competition) is what they call core values, which is how they behave and interact with each other and show teamwork,” said Chris Hirschi, a coach for Mini-Figure Mayhem.
Winners from this competition will move on to the international championship in St. Louis. Thousands of teams from 54 countries throw it down in the same criteria.
Teams are also encouraged to seek patents for their brilliant ideas.