A team of students from beat out more than 270 food safety invention submissions from 13 countries to tie for first place in the second annual FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Global Innovation Award competition.
SIS Robotic Revolution won for their invention, the Smart Sticker, at an awards ceremony held at the United States Patent & Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia on June 19. The students were among four finalist teams from across the globe. The Shelton team was awarded the top prize along with team Moderately Confused from Dublin, Ohio.
The Shelton students will now work directly with award program sponsor, Edison Nation, to develop their product from "idea to market." They will receive up to $250,000 in services from Edison Nation to patent, prototype, produce and market the Smart Sticker. They will also be featured on the Emmy award-winning PBS television show Everyday Edison's, which begins filming their fifth season in September. The show will follow the students through the patent and prototype process as their invention becomes a reality.
The Smart Sticker is designed to notify consumers if their egg products have been stored properly within the appropriate temperature range, signifying safety from contamination.
Team members Keyur Shah, Joseph Niski, Victoria O'Malley, Segal Bhargava, Aravind Ravishankar, Deraj Ganjikunta, and David Dzujna began working on the invention in October. They were inspired after , when many residents lost power for days and had to empty their refrigerators of rotten food.
“Kids are better at innovation and solving problems because they have the energy for it, the get-up-and-go spirit—they want to do it,” said SIS team member Jospeh Niski. “On the other hand, some adults might not have that energy; maybe they are just doing it because they have to."
Shelton Chairman Win Oppel was in attendance at the ceremony. "This is a true testament to the quality of students we have in the Shelton Public School system and teachers dedicated to their learning. We are very proud of the accomplishments of these students," he said.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen that inspires young people’s interest in science and technology. The annual FLL Global Innovation Award helps students solve real-world problems by supporting the development of their ideas and inventions through the product development process. This season's challenge was food safety. Teams submitted their ideas to an online portal; more than one million votes were cast by the public to help determine the four finalist teams.
The winners of the 2nd annual FLL Global Innovation Award 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 stores;
First 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;
Runner-Up: MATobot of New York, NY, invented the Smart Milk Pitcher that detects milk spoilage by measuring pH change and alerts consumers; and
Runner-Up: Seven World Wonders of Yeruham, Israel, invented the FreezeStick to renew the freezing of ice in a cooler, gaining 10 extra hours of cooling.
“The kinds of new thinking that these middle school kids have brought to the discussion can make a difference going forward,” said Margaret Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration. “We need to encourage young students like this to continue to think and act in new ways and to bring their energy and intellect to these efforts.”