This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Park City's Lady Bots and the Pi Pods of Sandy were named first- and second-place champions, respectively, at the Utah FIRST LEGO League Championship on Saturday.

Hundreds of kids ages 9 to 14 — winners from regional meets — competed at the University of Utah, racing to complete missions with team robots and presenting research projects.

This year's theme was "Food Factor," and teams were told to develop ideas to improve food safety. Judges also evaluated their teamwork and how well they reflected the program's core values, from emphasizing learning over competition to "gracious professionalism."

The Lady Bots and Pi Pods will represent Utah in upcoming competitions at Legoland parks in California and Florida.

Lego Bistro, a team from Salt Lake City, is competing for the FIRST Lego League's Global Innovation Award. The team's idea is to connect a pump to produce sprayers at grocery stores, forcing a solution into the purified water to kill surface bacteria. Submissions — and votes — are collected online at http://bit.ly/yRkExI.

Winners include:

Robot awards • Mechanical design, Jr. Jedis; programming, Skeleton Crew; strategy and innovation, NAND-Droids; performance, Skeleton Crew.

Project awards • Research, Ninja Owls; innovative solution, Lego Bistro; presentation, Brain Storm.

Core values awards • Inspiration, Geckos; teamwork, Wired Up; gracious professionalism, Fruit Ninjas.

Nearly 1,500 Utah students participated in the second annual competition, according to the U. Next year's theme will be "Senior Solutions." More information is available at http://www.utfll.utah.edu.

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