TeamToxicThe Sonoran Science Academy’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics team, Team TOXIC, was awarded a gold medal at the 2013 Edison Awards held in Chicago, Ill., in April. The annual awards ceremony recognizes “game-changing new products and services from around the world in the spirit of Thomas Edison.”

The team of middle school students developed Non-Toxic by TOXIC, a combination of natural ingredients that removes bacteria and wax from fruits and vegetables. The project stemmed from an FLL challenge to explore food safety. Through their research, the team found that wax applied to fruits and vegetables can trap mold and bacteria underneath. Their solution is inexpensive and safe to humans and the environment.

In addition to being honored at the ceremony, the students had the opportunity to network with more than 400 business leaders and innovators who attended the event. Team TOXIC was the youngest finalist among well-established companies and startups.

Previously, the team won the 2011 FLL State Championship tournament at Arizona State University and went on to compete in the FLL World Festival, where they took first place in the research category.

ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering serves as the Arizona operational partner for FLL, an international program designed to spark young students’ interest in innovation. Each year, teams are tasked with a different real-world problem, then work together to research and devise a solution.

The Edison Awards is a program of Edison Universe, a not-for-profit organization that is focused on fostering innovation to create a positive impact on the world. To see all of the 2013 award winners, visit www.edisonawards.com.

Learn more about the Arizona FIRST LEGO League program:

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