WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy announced today the launch of the TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy. This marks the beginning of Toshiba’s partnership in the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership between the U.S.-Japan Council and the U.S. Embassy in Japan, that invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges, as well as science, engineering, and leadership programs. In partnership with the TOMODACHI Initiative, Toshiba created the academy to nurture a strong sense of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) literacy, and to inspire students to use science and technology to address some of the world’s most complex issues.
“We are delighted to hear that the Toshiba Corporation has partnered with the TOMODACHI Initiative,” stated the U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy. “Toshiba's generous funding to TOMODACHI will connect young Japanese and American people through leadership education in science and technology, building a strong, enduring U.S.-Japan relationship. I thank them for their generosity and support.”
The academy links the TOMODACHI Initiative’s roots in disaster recovery and Toshiba’s founding commitment to technological innovation, and the company’s passion for science and technology education. During the week-long, cross-cultural academy, 16 high school students and eight teachers from Japan and the United States will work together to address global issues. Participants will work in teams to develop proposed solutions to these problems using learning experiences that are central to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy will take place each year in August in Tokyo.
In the United States for the past 21 years, Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have hosted the annual Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision program, the world’s largest K-12 science competition. ExploraVision encourages children to expand their imagination and have fun while developing an interest in STEM at an early age. To date, more than 315,000 students have participated in the program.
“As a strategic partner of the TOMODACHI initiative, we are pleased to contribute to reinforcing the already strong ties between the United States and Japan,” said Atsutoshi Nishida, Chairman of Toshiba Corporation. “We are deeply committed to promoting innovation, and we want our program to help to cultivate a love of science among future leaders in the United States and Japan, and to encourage friendship.”
“The National Science Teachers Association is proud to be part of the TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy,” says Dr. David Evans, Executive Director, NSTA. “We look forward to fostering vibrant relationships between talented U.S. and Japanese students and teachers who will not only be learning from each other, but also working together to share ideas and design a smarter planet for us all.”
In the United States, regional and honorable mention winners from the 2013 and 2014 Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision program in grades 8-11 are eligible to apply for the TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy. Students must write an essay on their vision for a resilient, smarter community enabled by technology. High school teachers who are also NSTA members can apply by developing a hands-on activity about one of the following topics: rebuilding a community after a disaster, methods to meet increasing energy demands, solutions to rising CO2 emissions, solutions to population growth issues or alternative energy technology. The call for submissions is open from March 15 to April 15, 2014. Eight student and four teacher winners from each country will be announced on May 9, 2014. Their Japanese counterparts will be selected from high school students and teachers who promote strong achievements in science and mathematics education and international student exchanges.
For more information or an application for the 2014 Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision and the TOMODACHI program, visit www.exploravision.org or www.usjapantomodachi.org or e-mail email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @ToshibaInnovate or join the ExploraVision Facebook Fan Page at www.Facebook.com/ToshibaInnovation.
Toshiba International Foundation and the Toshiba America Foundation will actively support the TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy from the viewpoint of encouraging Japanese and U.S. collaboration.
Toshiba is a world-leading diversified manufacturer, solutions provider and marketer of advanced electronic and electrical products and systems. Toshiba Group brings innovation and imagination to a wide range of businesses: digital products, including LCD TVs, notebook PCs, retail solutions and MFPs; electronic devices, including semiconductors, storage products and materials; industrial and social infrastructure systems, including power generation systems, smart community solutions, medical systems and escalators & elevators; and home appliances. Toshiba was founded in 1875, and employs over 210,000 people in world wide and 18,000 people in North America. Toshiba America, Inc., is the holding company for five Toshiba operating companies in the United States.
About the TOMODACHI Initiative
The TOMODACHI Initiative is a public-private partnership, born out of support for Japan's recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake that invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as entrepreneurship and leadership programs. We seek to foster a "TOMODACHI generation" of young American and Japanese leaders who are committed to and engaged in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, appreciate each other's countries and cultures, and possess the global skills and mindsets needed to contribute to and thrive in a more cooperative, prosperous, and secure world.
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes approximately 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.
About Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision
Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision is a science competition that goes beyond the typical student science competition and into what it takes to bring ideas to reality. A teacher will sponsor and lead his/her students as they work in groups of 2 – 4 to simulate real research and development. A teacher will guide his or her students as they pick a current technology, research it, envision what it might look like in 20 years, and describe the development steps, pros & cons, and obstacles. Past winners have envisioned technologies ranging from a hand-held food allergen detector to a new device to help people who have lost limbs regain movement in real time.