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      Ready, Set, Lego!

      The crowds were cheering. Tensions were running high -- a lot was at stake. And all of the excitement was about robots made out of legos.

      The lego bots, completely designed and built by students, had to complete a series of tasks and were really fun to watch. But the bots were just one event in the First Lego League competition that attracted students from across the state.

      "The First Lego League competition is a three part competition," Evans Middle School teacher Heidi Bradford said. "One of it is teamwork, which is one of the most important parts, of course, and letting the kids have fun. Then the other parts are the robotics race, which are the robots on the table, and the third part is a research project presentation that the students have to develop, so they had to take a contamination problem and solve it."

      So even though the lego bots were the crowd pleasers, it was really the projects and presentations that took the kids over two months to research that made them think critically about food safety.

      Greer Hancock's team was made up of students from a variety of schools, through the 4-H program.

      "We have to come up with an item that will solve something that has to do with food safety," she said. "Our item is the sponge sanitizer, because sponges are really dirty and gross."

      One of Bradford's teams from Evans Middle constructed a fridge.

      "Our presentation was about a maxi fridge, it has adjustable shelves, a self-cleaning ap, it has a warming drawer, a defrost drawer, everything you can think of," sixth-grader Elle Weilbrenner said. "It was very fun, and we had fun with it."