CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A group of teens in Cincinnati have developed a way to rinse produce safely even if the drinking water they're using is unsafe.
For many, it's probably second nature when you make a salad at home to rinse the lettuce and other vegetables with water from the sink.
But for most of the world, tap water is unsafe to drink.
A group of Cincinnati teenagers have come up with a solution to this problem before heading to California to compete globally.
From the naked eye, it may appear that the group of teenagers are playing with Legos, but the group is part of a non-profit organization created to help students explore STEM fields.
STEM stands for science, technology, energy, and mathematics.
"I think most of them coming in would not have called themselves engineers or wanted to be engineers but I think at this point a number of them are interested in it and that's exciting" said Kerry Marsh the coach of Lego Legion.
Marsh says five years ago she was looking for a way her sons could work with robotics.
That's when she discovered FIRST.
"I've learned a lot about engineering, mechanical and electrical both, I've also learned a lot about things like teamwork prioritization and things like that" said Samson Shceie.
The students work together on different projects and compete against other teams. At the most recent world competition in Detroit, the team took second. Now they're headed to California in June as one of only 20 semi-finalists in the Global Innovation competition.
This time they're presenting their latest project called the UVeggie.
"When you turn the crank, you generate power to turn on the UV lights which then shine on the produce and water killing the microbes, cleansing both" said Noelle Nephew.
The UVeggie can be used by people traveling to or living in other countries with unsafe drinking water. The device will clean the water and the produce inside.
But even if the team doesn't win the 20,000 dollar prize in California, they say they've already learned so much.
Their coach says even after such a successful year for the Lego Legion, they're not stopping now.
Lego Legion has already created three different types of the UVeggie. They even have a patent pending for their product.
If they win the competition in California, they say it's only a matter of time before YOU can buy your very own UVeggie.