Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | October 26, 2011

Lego League RI Brings Science & Tech Challenge Students to URI

Over 300 Elementary and Middle School Students to attend The FIRST® LEGO® League Rhode Island (FLL RI) “Meet the Food Safety Experts” Event at URI
Over 300 9-14 year olds from across New England will spend October 29, 2011 from 8:30 AM – 1 PM, at the University of Rhode Island, learning about food science and safety. The event is co-sponsored by URI’s College of the Environment and Life Sciences, and is part of FIRST LEGO League’s Food Factor Season.

FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is an international competition for elementary and middle school aged students where students design and build a LEGO robot to compete on a game table made of LEGO elements. FLL teams also complete a research project that encourages research and innovation in a scientific field.

Every FLL season has a theme, and the FLL Food Factor season is about keeping food safe from farm to table. Teams are delving into questions surrounding our current food safety practices and creating new ways to keep food from making people sick. This event brings 9 experts together with 40 teams eager to learn more about innovations in the food industry.

“Events like FIRST LEGO League Rhode Island’s “Meet the Food Factor Experts Day” introduce students to new careers and get them excited about cutting edge science.” said Mary Johnson, Program Manager of FIRST LEGO League Rhode Island, who is sponsoring the event with the University of Rhode Island’s College of the Environment and Life Sciences, “And food safety is a topic the students can all relate to.”

Teams from Barrington, Cranston, Coventry, Cumberland, East Greenwich, Foster, Kingston, Lincoln, Narragansett, North Kingstown, Providence, Newport, and Riverside, Rhode Island; Burlington, Colchester, Madison and Mystic, CT; Hampstead, NH; and Berkley, Lexington, Needham, West Newbury, Sharon, and Sutton, MA.

Speakers Include:
Michelle Richardson
Senior Food Technologist, US Army Natick Soldier Research Lab
“Food Safety and Product Development of Military Field Feeding (MREs)”

P. Christopher Ellis
Food Scientist/Chemist, RI Dept. of Health (retired)
“You Can Touch the Plate Until you are Safe at First” (Food Additives and Food Safety)

Mary Yebba
Public Affairs Specialist US Food and Drug Administration
“The Role of the Government (FDA) in Keeping Food Safe”
(Speakers, Continued)

Jesse M. Rodrigues, Jr.
General Manager/Farmer RI Nurseries
“Growing Safe Food from a Farmer to You”

William Bigalow
Vice President of Research and Business Development, Blount Fine Foods
“Without a Machine, your food would be Green (the role of automation in food safety)”

Albert Kausch
Professor, URI College of Environment and Life Sciences
Cell and Molecular Biology Department
“Genetically Modified Food and the Future”

Susan Wallace
Executive Director of Food Safety, University Office of Culinary Education
Johnson and Wales University
“Food from the Beginning of Time: The History of Food Safety”

Ernest Julian PhD
Chief of Food Protection, RI Dept. of Health
“Anatomy of an Outbreak”

Lynda Hoxie
Health and Safety Coordinator, Dave’s Marketplace
“Food Safety and Your Grocery Store”

For more info visit:
FIRST LEGO League Rhode Island Website:
FIRST LEGO League Rhode Island Facebook Page:

FIRST LEGO League International Website:

FLL is a global program created to get children excited about science and technology. Students between the ages of 9 and 14 solve challenges based on real world scientific problems. Students engage in research, problem solving, engineering and programming. Children who participate in FLL work in teams, develop communication skills, think creatively, and discover there is more than one solution to most problems. FLL is also known for its Core Values which emphasize friendly sportsmanship, respect for others and community involvement.

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