The Rapid Micro Blog

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4th and 5th Graders Win LEGO Research Contest with Nanocantilevers

OK, I thought I knew a lot about rapid pathogen detection and nanotechnology. Turns out a bunch of 4th and 5th graders are way ahead of the curve. I just picked this story up from the West Salem Blog.

A handful of young Lego-tinkering sprouts from West Salem earned some plaudits for their work recently. Rebel Alliance of West Salem earned recognition and an award for its research during the 11th annual Intel Oregon FIRST LEGO League Championship Tournaments, presented by Rockwell Collins and held at Liberty High School in Hillsboro (click on their picture at the left).

The West Salem contingent was recognized for its impressive research project focused on rapid pathogen detection on berries using nanotechnology, according to Oregon University Systems Communications Associate Endi Hartigan. “Our team’s project focused on rapid pathogen detection on berries during processing on the assembly line,” Rebel Alliance spokeswoman Cindy Stutz concurred. “Their device, the B.I.O.D. (Bacteria In Oxygen Detector) uses nanocantilevers which would sense the bacteria in the air surrounding the berries.

“They won the first place award for “Project Research,” which recognizes the team who utilizes diverse resources to develop in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the problem they identified,” Stutz added.

Four Rebel Alliance team members are 4th graders attending Chapman Hill Elementary: Zachary Stutz, Eric Frazer, Spencer Haley, Will Hahn. The fifth Rebel is Jason May, a Brush College Elementary 5th grader.
OUS, which coordinates the event, announced that the tournaments brought together 118 teams from around Oregon and SW Washington which qualified for the event via earlier tournaments held last December.

Each team of 9 to 14 year olds construct and program a LEGO robot to compete on various robot missions, presented research on this year’s theme, “food safety,” and demonstrated their work to three panel judges. Overall first-place Intel Oregon Champion’s Awards went to Lego Ninja Warriors from Hillsboro on the first day and Team AFOOFA from the Washington County 4-H on the second day.

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