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Top Youth LEGO robotics teams awarded at state championships focused on theme of food safety

Bruce Schafer, Director, OUS Industry Affairs; Office: 503-725-2915; Cell: 503-332-4666
Cathy Swider, Project Administrator, OUS; Office: 503-725-2920; Cell: 971-219-1020 

Top teams of 9-14 year olds from across the state and region participated in the 11th annual competition of LEGO robots

January 17, 2012: The Oregon University System (OUS) is pleased to announce the 6 state champions of the 11th annual Intel Oregon FIRST LEGO League Championship Tournaments, presented by Rockwell Collins, held on January 14-15, 2012 at Liberty High School in Hillsboro. The tournaments brought together 118 teams, which represented the top teams from around Oregon and SW Washington who excelled at qualifying tournaments in December 2011. Each team of 9-14 year olds constructed and programmed their LEGO robot to compete on various robot missions, presented research on this year’s theme of food safety, and demonstrated their work to three panels of judges.

First place for the Intel Oregon Champion’s Award, the most prestigious award of the competition, went to two co-champions Lego Ninja Warriors from Hillsboro, Oregon and Team AFOOFA, from Washington County 4-H. This award goes to the team who is strongest in four categories: robot design, the research project, and core values. One champion team has the opportunity to advance to the FLL World Festival to be held in St. Louis, Missouri in April and the other to the North American Open FLL Championship at LEGOLAND in Carlsbad, California in May.  The second-place Intel Oregon Champion’s Awards went to the Sprinting Spirits and Bacterial Busters, both teams associated with Portland elementary schools. The third-place Champion’s Awards were given to Turbo Turtles of Portland and Flying Penguins of Hillsboro.  In addition, Oregon teams walked away this weekend winning many impressive category and subcategory awards made possible by Oregon companies, included awards for outstanding first-year “rookie” teams and young teams in fifth grade or under. For more details on the top awards, see the attached chart, and for a listing of all awards including subcategories, go to www.ortop.org/fll  

For the last 11 years, the Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program (ORTOP) has offered the FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) pre-engineering program to help young students begin exploring technical fields and careers at an early age, to meet high-tech industry and economic needs. Oregon technology corporations and industry associations collaborate with the OUS, hundreds of volunteers, and major youth organizations to implement the program. Thanks to the program’s generous sponsors, partners, and incredible volunteer spirit, Oregon boasts one of the largest youth robotics programs in the country. 

“Intel enthusiastically supports the FIRST LEGO League program because we are convinced that it stimulates interest in math and science among young people," said Jill Eiland, Intel's Northwest Region Corporate Affairs Manager. " Talent in those areas is critical to the future success of Intel and the United States economy.”

In December 2011, over 400 teams and about 3,000 students participated in qualifying tournaments in Oregon and SW Washington, including teams from home schools, public schools, private schools, and local communities. The top 30% of these teams competed at this weekend’s championships.  Each team is made up of four to ten students ages 9-14 who are given about 12 weeks to prepare for the tournament, including construction, design, and programming of the robot, and completion of the required scientific research. The teams used off-the-shelf LEGO robotics kits to construct working robots, each which is unique and completes as many missions as possible on a 4-foot by 8-foot playing field.  Each year, FLL defines a challenge theme that drives team activities. In this year's Food Factor challenge, teams explored how food is grown and processed and the safety issues that come up along the way.  Each team developed and presented a research projects on food safety and what they recommend to increase the safety of a particular food, discussed technical aspects of their research with judges, and showed their ever-important teamwork skills.

Winning teams were very proud of their accomplishments and excited for what’s next. Some team members already see options opening for their future careers. When Team AFOOFA members were asked whether the tournament experience has given them ideas about careers in the future, the answer was an obvious yes. Prathyoosha Chaya replied that he was now interested in being a biomedical engineer, Hersh Godse a software engineer, Yesh Godse a mechanical engineer, and Cassie Larimer a career in technical writing.  Another benefit of the program is building team and communication skills.  Akhila Kandaswamy, a member of the Lego Ninja Warriors said she “learned how to work as a team, make compromises, and have fun.”  The research projects conducted by the top Champion’s teams on the two days were in closely related areas. The Lego Ninja Wariors used ozonation to kill the bacteria, virus, fungi in fruits and vegetable. Team AFOOFA focused on preventing fresh salsa contamination in restaurants due to improper storage.

Bruce Schafer, director of industry affairs for OUS, said “Many congratulations to all the amazing teams for all the time spent preparing for and participating in this weekend’s tournaments. The ingenuity here is truly remarkable, and I have no doubt many of these students will become our future engineers, computer scientists, and innovators. Tremendous thanks to our title sponsor, Intel, to all our corporate and community sponsors, and to the hundreds of tireless mentors and volunteers who help this program thrive.”

ORTOP thanks its generous sponsors for this event, including Intel in Oregon, the title sponsor; Rockwell Collins, the presenting sponsor; Google/Tides Foundation, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, RadiSys and TechAmerica, platinum sponsors; Bonneville Power Administration,Garmin, the Oregon University System and Vernier Software, gold sponsors;  IBM, and ONAMI (Oregon Nanoscience & Microtechnologies Institute), Performance Health Technology, and Timbercon, silver sponsors; as well as all its supporting community sponsors and volunteers.  Thanks to the generosity of these sponsors, over 20% of this year’s teams received a scholarship to help them get started or to continue their participation.

For more information on the program go to www.ortop.org/fll.


Awards: Intel Oregon FIRST LEGO League Championship Tournaments
January 15 & 16, 2012
For a listing of all awards, including subcategories, go to www.ortop.org/fll  


Team Name





Intel Oregon Champion’s Award, 1st Place: Day 1

Lego Ninja Warriors

Neighbor-hood Team


Raveena Manivannan, Susheel Ravi, Rishi Mandyam, Akhila Kandaswamy, Anusha Bohra, Vasudev Raguram    

Kavitha Ramasamy, Ravi Ramakrishnan, Meena Kandaswamy

Intel Oregon Champion’s Award, 1st Place: Day 2


Washington County - 4H

Washing-ton County

Prathyoosha Chaya, Hersh Godse, Yesh Godse, Cassie Larimer,  Akhil Kambamettu, Kamya Chandra

C D Venkatesh, Sachin Godse, Sreedevi Chaya

Intel Oregon Champion’s Award, 2nd Place: Day 1

Sprinting Spirits

Jacob Wismer Elem. School


Bradley Wang, Justin Bao, Mallika Moghe, Rahul Reddy, Aayush Bhatt, Sehaj Singh, Shahir Rahman

Zhunquin Wang, Santosh Bhatt, Mei Hong, Jagan Reddy

Intel Oregon Champion’s Award, 2nd Place: Day 2

Bacterial Busters

Forest Park Elem. School


Anousha Greiveldinger, Natalie Wang, Liam Bouffard, David Owendoff, Marshal Xu, Calum Motley, Nathaniel Lee, Connor Steen

Shirley Ma, James Motley, Emily Owendoff, Sharne Motley

Intel Oregon Champion’s Award, 3rd Place: Day 1

Turbo Turtles

Forest Heights Neighbor-hood


Simon Chow, Hannah Belli, Evan Chang, Susan Cook

Kingsum Chow, Pam Belli, Karen Cook

Intel Oregon Champion’s Award, 3rd Place: Day 2

Flying Penguins

Farmington View / South Meadows


Quinn Cox, Jonathan Alexander, Matthew Alexander, Braden Fisco, Laurel Stugart, Makenna Gambee

Terry Alexander, Cory Cox

Vernier Software and Technology Young Team Award: Day 1



Lake Oswego

Carl Bergstrom, Jack Bride, Kevin Tsai, Kyle Murphy, Sophie Villeneuve

Wan-Shu Lu, Hans Tsai

Vernier Software and Technology Young Team Award: Day 2

Team NFL – Nerds For Life



Neha Mishra, Saffron Du, Anisha Kumar, Grace Yang, Jessica Yang

Meena Mishra, Divya Bajaj, Wei Yang

Garmin Rookie
Team Award: Day 1


Bethany Neighbor-hood


Richard Jiang, Aaron Sha, Andrew Yang, Bryan Lee, Silu Men

Zhikui Ren

BPA Rookie
Team Award: Day 2

Germ Busters

C.S. Lewis Academy Middle Sch.


Austin Friedrich, Cole Evans, Ethan Dale, Elon Grobey, Kollin Raudsepp                  , Logan Marek, Jamie Graham, Victoria Saager

Pam Chambers, Kayla Haffner, Todd Evans


The Champion's Award is the most prestigious of the awards. This award recognizes a team that embodies the FLL experience, by fully embracing the program’s Core Values while achieving excellence and innovation in both the Robot Game and Project. It encompasses teams with strong, balanced performance across the judging categories of robot design, project and core values and also scored in the top 40% on the robot game.  

The Vernier Software and Technology Young Team Award is like the Champion’s Award except that it is restricted to teams made up of children in fifth grade or younger, who had a strong, balanced performance in robot design, project and core values. 

Garmin/BPA Rookie Team Award is like the Champion’s Award except that it is restricted to teams that have never participated in an FLL in a previous season.  They also had a strong, balanced performance in robot design, project and core values.