Awards that put even more ‘Fun’ into Food Factor

By- Heidi Buck

These amazing awards were recently brought to my attention – and I had to find out who made them!  I asked Liberty Naud, (Founder & Executive Director – SMaRT Education and the Southern California FLL QT Director) – why they decided to create these amazing trophies for their Qualifying Tournament. Liberty said:

Two of my star volunteers, Travis and Calista, started the discussions with me months ago about having really awesome food-themed trophies for Food Factor. We thought of burgers, fries, sushi, etc… but finally settled on desserts…. Food Factor presented such a wonderful opportunity to play up the fun side of food, and infuse even more F-U-N into the competition itself.

Travis and Calista – the builders of the trophies, said :

We have been building with LEGO for about two and a half years… what started as a casual hobby collecting Star Wars LEGO sets took off when we discovered Bricklink – an online market place set up by the LEGO community.

We got involved with FIRST LEGO League a year ago when we met Liberty Naud and she asked us to be robot judges at her tournament. Since then we have judged tournaments at LEGOLAND and have gotten more involved with SMaRT Education.  We were excited when Liberty asked us if we wanted to build the trophies for the tournament.  We wanted the trophies to remind the kids of the Food Factor season and all of the fun they have in FIRST LEGO League.

This is one of the of the biggest projects that we have ordered through Bricklink.  We had to order from about 20 different stores to collect all of the pieces.  It’s very exciting to get the packages in the mail.  The week before the tournament we were anxiously waiting the last of our packages and hoping they would get here in time.

Each set of cupcakes had a special feature based on the different areas that are judged:
Champion’s Award: Cherry pie
Core Values: Chocolate and Vanilla swirl frosting with a cherry on top
Project: Vanilla frosting with a cherry on top
Robot Design: Chocolate with sprinkles
Robot Performance: Chocolate with whipped cream and a cherry on top

Liberty said that the kid’s reactions to the trophies were priceless. Here are some of their reactions:

“Those are the trophies for today?…You’re going to give out all those trophies TODAY?”
“Awesome!  I want to win one of THOSE trophies.”
“The cherry pie is the best one!”
“How long did it take you to build those!”
But her all-time favorite comment could only come from an FLL student studying food contamination for the last eight weeks:

“Geez, I hope you washed your hands before making all of those.”

Amazing volunteers, creative ideas and a whole lot of fun add up to sweet rewards indeed!