Julian Charter School

The Julian Charter School robotics team received the Innovative Solution Award at a regional First LEGO League robotics tournament in Palm Desert, Ca. The award was presented to the students for their ideas to train restaurant staff in proper gluten-free food preparation and to help people with celiac disease test food for cross-contamination. In addition to receiving the award, the robotics team, called the Electrolights, also qualified to be one of five teams to advance to the championship competition at Legoland in December 2011.

Twenty-one teams competed in the First Lego League robotics competition organized by Smart Education. Teams were judged in four categories: the robot game, robot design, research project presentation and core values. Competing as part of Team Electrolights were: Judaea Bufford, 11, Celine Cavanaugh, 12, Spencer Mack, 11, Emily Sizemore, 11, and Michael Sizemore, 9, and Jack Pine-Rusk, 10.

The Electrolights are a rookie team and are excited to advance to the championship rounds. The team was organized during fall semester and has been meeting weekly to practice their programming skills. The team picked the name to be the Electrolights because electrolytes give people energy and balance.

FIRST LEGO League (FLL) introduces young people, ages 9 to 14, to the fun and excitement of science and technology while building self-confidence, knowledge, and valuable employment and life skills. FLL challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers. Alongside adult mentors, FLL teams solve problems using engineering concepts, presentation techniques, and robots.

Each year, teams are given new challenges around a theme. This year, during the 2011 FOOD FACTOR Challenge, students explored the topic of food safety and examined the possible points of contamination food encounters-from exposure to insects and creatures, to unsterile processing and transportation, to unsanitary preparation and storage. Students then proposed ways to prevent or combat contaminates.