ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Toshiba and NSTA announced the eight national winners of the 25th annual Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition. From allergy-detecting watches to a wearable, environmentally friendly cell-phone charger, the innovative ideas developed by the winning teams seek to solve challenges the world will likely face in the next 20 years.
The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition is the world’s largest K-12 science competition and is designed to help students develop the skills emphasized in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) including problem-solving, critical-thinking and collaboration skills. Students work in teams to imagine and design technology that could change the future in 20 years. In order to further bring their ideas to life, the finalists were asked to design web pages and create short videos that feature their prototypes.
“This year marks the 25th anniversary of the ExploraVision competition, and we could not be prouder to see ExploraVision continue inspiring and igniting students’ interest in STEM education,” said Fumio Otani, Chairman & CEO, Toshiba America, Inc. “Toshiba is honored to partner with the National Science Teachers Association to support future thought leaders in the science and technology fields.”
“We are excited to congratulate this year’s winning teams,” said Dr. David Evans, NSTA Executive Director. “For 25 years, this competition has sparked a curiosity and passion for science, technology and innovation in hundreds of thousands of students. This competition has provided the opportunity for students to expand their imaginations and challenge their minds to think outside the realm of reality, all while developing real-world skills and having fun.”
Since its inception 25 years ago in 1992, more than 378,000 students from across the United States and Canada have entered in the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision program.
Reviving the Environment
Several winning teams from this year’s competition focused on innovations to restore the environment and prevent further damage.
A team of fourth graders from Bayville Intermediate in Bayville, New York, developed Robotic Cleaning Bivalves (RCBs), which are robots that remove polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) – cancer-causing chemicals that pollute riverbeds and oceans floors. The RCBs function as living clams and sink to riverbeds and ocean floors to remove the PCBs. Another team of fourth- and fifth graders from Pine View Elementary developed The Coral Reef MGS, a device that stimulates the growth of coral reefs that have deteriorated as a result of increased water temperatures and acidity.
A third team developed the qSafe: Power Cell of the Future, a lithium-free battery developed to replace lithium-ion batteries which can cause harmful explosions; seventh graders from Champaign, Illinois, imagined a wearable cell-phone charger that uses human kinetic and thermoelectric energy to conserve electricity.
Making the World a Safer Place
Nobody wants to wear a bulky life vest, and now they won’t have to. Third graders from Bayville, New York, developed Float Tees, a T-shirt made of a special fabric that provides the same buoyant properties as a life vest. The portable invention could encourage increased wear of protective gear among children while in the water, and could also potentially limit accidental drownings.
One team from Nathanael Green Elementary School in Stanardsville, Virginia, created an idea for those with severe food allergies. One of the largest issues facing those who suffer from food allergies is having no way to tell if they are allergic to a food until it is too late. The Aller Watch is just like a regular watch but is able to test any food to see if the food contains any allergens of the wearer.
Other teams focused on innovations to improve the way we gather information. High schoolers from Commack, New York, developed Scat Scan, a scanner located inside a toilet bowl that has the ability to detect bacteria and send the results to an app on a user’s smartphone, allowing for easier and faster detection of particular bacteria. Tenth graders from Stuyvesant High School in New York developed a way to get modern computers to perform calculations using carbon nanospheres, completely revolutionizing how we retrieve answers and solve problems.
The eight national winning teams are comprised of a first-place winner and second-place winner from four groups based on grade level. Members of first-place nationally winning teams each receive a $10,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond (at maturity). Members of second-place nationally winning teams will each receive a $5,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond (at maturity). Canadian winners receive Canada bonds purchased for the equivalent issue price in Canadian dollars. All first- and second-place national winners will receive an expense-paid trip for themselves, their parents/guardians, teachers and mentors to Washington for a gala awards weekend in June 2017. Activities will include a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and a Science Showcase during which the students will display and demonstrate their winning ideas. The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision weekend will culminate with a gala awards banquet and ceremony where students will be formally recognized for their creativity and accomplishments.
For 25 consecutive years, the program has helped children to expand their imagination and have fun while developing an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education at an early age. Previous winners from the last 25 years will be on-site at the gala awards weekend and are available for interview upon request. To learn more, visit http://www.exploravision.org/25th-anniversary.
For more information or to access an application for the 2017/2018 program, visit www.exploravision.org or e-mail email@example.com. Follow ExploraVision on Twitter at @ToshibaInnovate or join the ExploraVision Facebook Fan Page at www.Facebook.com/ToshibaInnovation.
Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision 2017 National Winners
2017 First Place Winners
Grade K-3: Float Tees
Bayville Intermediate, Bayville, New York
Grade 4-6: RCBs (Robotic Cleaning Bivalves)
Bayville Intermediate, Bayville, New York
Grade 7-9: BioKT: The Wearable Kinetic and Thermoelectric Energy
Next Generation School, Champaign, Illinois
Grade 10-12: qSafe: Power Cell of the Future
West Salem High School, Salem, Oregon
2017 Second Place Winners
Grade K-3: The Aller Watch
Nathanael Greene Elementary School, Stanardsville, Virginia
Grade 4-6: The Coral Reef MGS
Pine View Elementary, Land O’Lakes, Florida
Grade 7-9: Scat Scan: The Future of Microbiome Analysis
Commack High School, Commack, New York
Grade 10-12: Using carbon nanospheres to reduce decoherence in
quantum computing systems
Stuyvesant High School, New York
Founded in Tokyo in 1875, Toshiba Corporation is a Fortune Global 500 company that contributes to a better world and better lives with innovative technologies in Energy, Infrastructure and Storage. Guided by the philosophy of “Committed to People, Committed to the Future,” Toshiba promotes operations through a global network of 551 consolidated companies employing 188,000 people, with annual sales surpassing 5.6 trillion yen (US$50 billion; March 31, 2016).
About Toshiba America, Inc.
Founded in 1965, Toshiba America, Inc. (TAI) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Toshiba Corporation and the holding company of six Toshiba operating companies that offer a broad range of products and solutions for the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. The six companies, which along with TAI are known collectively as Toshiba America Group, are Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (Semiconductor and storage solutions), Toshiba America Energy Systems, Corp. (Power generation solutions), Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (Digital products), Toshiba America Nuclear Energy Inc. (Nuclear power solutions), Toshiba International Corporation (Industrial, power electronics & transmission & distribution solutions),and Toshiba America Research, Inc.(R&D).
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence in science teaching and learning, preschool through college. NSTA’s membership includes approximately 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business representatives, and others involved in science education.