For Immediate Attention
2 November 2011
KZN ScienCentre at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping brings First Lego League to KwaZulu Natal
For the first time ever, KwaZulu Natal will be hosting the FIRST® LEGO® League competition at the KZN ScienCentre at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping this weekend (Saturday, 5 November). The 2011 event, entitled the Food Factor Challenge, will see 144 KwaZulu Natal students between the ages of 9-16 participating in a competition that involves a real-world topic related to the sciences, with the focus of this year’s event being food safety and methods to prevent contamination.

Since its inception in 1999 this international event has grown considerably, and in 2011 it will see over 200,000 students in almost 19,000 teams from over 55 countries all exploring the topic of food safety. Teams are each tasked with identifying a food item, and tracking its journey from harvest or creation, to consumption. Issues that will arise include the possible points of contamination with our food encounters (including exposure to insects and creatures, unsterile processing and transportation, unsanitary preparation and storage), as well as methods that may be used to prevent or avoid these problems.

During the 2011 FIRST® LEGO® League Food Factor Challenge at the KZN ScienCentre, participating teams will all build and program an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT components, and it will be deployed to solve a set of food safety tasks. The collaborative nature of the event means that teams will all ultimately share their innovative food safety solutions, in line with the FIRST® LEGO® League set of Core Values.

Candice Potgieter, General Manager of the KZN ScienCentre, said that “this event is aimed at getting children excited about science and technology. With the challenge revolving around real-world issues, participants are able to get valuable exposure to potential career paths within the chosen topic, and the teamwork and collaboration that will occur during the FIRST® LEGO® League Food Factor Challenge will also allow participants to learn valuable life and employment skills which will be of great benefit no matter which career path they may choose”.

Those who wish to become part of the KZN ScienCentre’s online community are encouraged to ‘Like’ KZN ScienCentre on Facebook, follow @KZNScienCentre on Twitter, or visit the KZN ScienCentre at the Gateway Theatre Shopping website at As a registered non-profit organization, all funds received by the KZN ScienCentre directly support its educational programmes and exhibits. For further enquiries, the KZN ScienCentre front desk can be contacted on 031-5668040.