This year’s theme was food safety. The Litchfield Montessori Brainiacs team, consisting of nine children ages 9 through 12, chose to research the topic of milk safety and spoilage prevention, stemming from research they collected during a fieldtrip to neighboring Arethusa Farm in Litchfield. During the competition, the team was evaluated on three different areas of performance. First, they built and programmed a robot designed to carry out specific missions. Out of nine attempts at the two and a half minute robot trial, the Brainiacs received the four highest scores of the competition. Second, students were required to identify an existing concern with food safety, research it and create a solution or an invention to overcome the problem. The Brainiacs developed the idea for an invention that would alert the consumer when milk becomes spoiled, based on the drop in pH level that occurs when bacteria consumes the sugars in milk and turns them to lactic acid. They presented their invention and research in a highly comical and informative skit to the judges. Third, the students were evaluated on the Core Values that FIRST® Lego® League emphasizes such as sportsmanship, their ability to work as a team, and gracious professionalism. The state competition will be held December 11th at CCSU. Best of luck Brainiacs!