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December 1, 2011 The new Julian Charter School robotics team recently received the Innovative Solution Award at a regional First LEGO League robotics qualifying tournament in Palm Desert, California. 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 on December 3.

The Time Warner Cable Southern California Region Qualifying Tournament was held at the UCR Graduate Center in Palm Desert on November 5. There were 21 teams competing 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. One additional team member, Jack Pine-Rusk, 10, was unable to compete Saturday.

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. The team is an energetic team that works together like electrolytes work together to give your body energy and balance. The team motto is "We are programming rocket scientists who have fun and conquer robots on our way to Alpha Centauri." The team picked this motto because it incorporated all of the team members' ideas for the team name.

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.

About Julian Charter School
Julian Charter School's mission is to provide an exemplary personalized learning program in a supportive, resource-rich learning environment. We are dedicated to excellence and committed to nurturing passionate lifelong learners. to learn more about Julian Charter School, visit www.juliancharterschool.org.

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