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FIRST® LEGO® League Inspires Ontario Students To Be Food Safety Leaders

FIRST® LEGO® League 2010 World Champions encourage students to solve the 2011 FOOD FACTOR™ Challenge

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TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2011 /CNW/ - The challenge is on! Nearly 200,000 9 to 14 year-olds from more than 60 countries, including students from Ontario, will participate in the FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) 2011 FOOD FACTOR™ Challenge to explore the topic of food safety, examine possible points of contamination and invent ways to advance food safety. Registration is now open for schools to sign-up. FLL Regional Tournaments will take place across Ontario in November and December and the Provincial Championships will take place in January 2012.

Earlier today, members of the Sentinels team from Oakville, Ontario, who were crowned the 2010 World Champions, attended the launch sponsored by Maple Leaf Foods at Captain R. Wilson Public School to showcase their winning robot and share tips with this year's participating teams.

"The FOOD FACTOR™ Challenge provides a fun, creative and hands-on learning experience for young people about a real world issue. Each year FLL chooses an engaging theme which challenges the children to look at real issues facing scientists and engineers today. Food safety is a growing concern for people across the globe. Our children are not only learning hard skills of Science, Technology, Math and Engineering (STEM) programs, but they are learning equally important "soft" skills such as teamwork, communication, and presentation skills," said Dave Ellis, Director, FLL Ontario Operational Partner. "We are very pleased to see, through the Sentinels' win last year at the World Festival, that Ontario is competing at the highest level with the rest of the world. With more than 230 teams participating across Ontario again this year, we are excited to see what will transpire this season!"

FIRST® LEGO® League organizers are calling for more schools in Ontario to enter this year's FOOD FACTOR™ Challenge. To participate, schools need to register a team of children (two to 10 per team) and purchase a Robot Set and Field Setup Kit available to order online. Tournament fee costs are additional; however, partial funding is available through FIRST® Robotics Canada for schools interested in participating this year. For information on registration, schools can contact or go to

"As one of Canada's food safety leaders, it is important that we groom future food safety leaders," said Sharon K. K. Beals, Senior Vice President, Food Safety and Quality Assurance, Maple Leaf Foods. "It is very powerful to see so many young people inspired, engaged and excited about this year's FOOD FACTOR™ Challenge. Through this challenge, students not only learn how to keep food safe but also how everyone from scientists, engineers, government agencies and food producers work together to find solutions to keep our food safe."

FIRST® LEGO® League gives students the opportunity to explore the wonders of science and technology while building their research, teamwork, problem-solving and life skills.

The deadline to register teams for the FOOD FACTOR™ Challenge is September 30th or when all team registration slots have been allocated.

About FIRST® LEGO® League:
FIRST® LEGO® League is part of inventor Dean Kamen's not-for-profit organization FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) that inspires young people's interest and participation in science and technology. FIRST® LEGO® League operates in 61 countries around the world.

About Maple Leaf Foods
Maple Leaf Foods is a leading food processing company, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately 21,000 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Asia. Maple Leaf is committed to becoming a food safety leader and supporting public education that raises awareness of food safety issues.

For broadcast quality footage please click on the link below.

Image with caption: "FIRST® LEGO® League 2011 FOOD FACTOR™ Challenge Launch. 2010 World Champions, the Sentinels, showcase their winning robot and share tips with students participating in this year's challenge sponsored by Maple Leaf Foods (CNW Group/FIRST LEGO League)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "2010 FIRST® LEGO® League World Champions, Jack, Chris, Amanda, Kathleen and Anthony (Thomas and Mike absent) at FIRST® LEGO® League 2011 FOOD FACTOR™ Challenge Launch sponsored by Maple Leaf Foods (CNW Group/FIRST LEGO League)". Image available at:

Video with caption: "Video: FIRST® LEGO® League 2011 FOOD FACTOR™ Challenge Launch in Ontario". Video available at:

Genevive Savundranayagam

Dave Ellis

Director, FLL Ontario Operational Partner

Maple Leaf Media Hotline


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