ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) announced today the regional winners of the 26th annual ExploraVision program, the largest K-12 science competition designed to build problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills that are central to the Next Generation Science Standards.
This year’s regional winners include innovative ideas ranging from a robotic pet that provides companionship to elderly patients at risk for depression, to a specially outfitted submarine that filters and collects pollutants from the ocean. The 24 winning teams will advance to the national phase of the competition, where participants will have a chance to win $10,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bonds (at maturity) and other prizes. The winning teams will also receive a Toshiba laptop for their school, and each member of the team will receive a Toshiba Canvio® Hard Drive.
“When it was founded in partnership with the NSTA 26 years ago, the ExploraVision program sought to recognize students with talent and passion for thinking like scientists. This year’s regional winners showcase not only the scientific prowess of these young people, but also the deep care they have for their communities and the world around them,” said Noriaki Hashimoto, Chairman & CEO, Toshiba America, Inc. “They are a testament to the potential of young people to apply creativity, teamwork and the scientific method to the challenges facing all of us.”
ExploraVision participants were challenged to consider the future and imagine a technology that might exist 20 years from now. Using real scientific research, students outlined methods to plan and test their ideas. In the next phase of competition, the winning regional teams will be asked to build webpages and short videos to communicate and exhibit their ideas to the public.
“We are extremely impressed with the quality of work and innovative ideas these students have exhibited as they explored science and found ways to benefit their communities and society as a whole,” said Dr. David Evans, NSTA Executive Director. “Congratulations to all of the regional winning teams—students, teachers, and mentors—for their dedication, collaborative spirit, and outstanding project proposals.”
Promoting Sustainability and Curbing Climate Change
Several of the winning regional projects were focused on innovations to preserve the environment and to source alternate forms of energy. A team of two second-graders from Nashville, Tenn. created an artificial chlorophyll cell that can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen to negate the negative effects of carbon dioxide on the environment. Not one, but two teams—one made of two eighth graders from Arlington, Texas and another team of four 11th graders from East Setauket, N.Y.—invented high-efficiency solar panels using various forms of nanotechnology and conductive materials.
Healthcare Solutions of the Future
Another common theme in regional winner projects was ideas that pushed the envelope on physical and mental healthcare. A team of three ninth-graders from Johns Creek, Ga. seek to solve the problem of vaccine access in the developing world through a biodegradable vaccination patch. This patch would use microneedles and a slow-release, environmentally triggered inoculation delivery method to get these lifesaving vaccines to the people who need them. Another proposal, from three sixth-graders in Plainview, New York, called “CFAST,” or “Cystic Fibrosis Absorbent Sponge Technology,” uses nano-sponges that travel to vital organs in the body to absorb excess mucus caused by Cystic Fibrosis. Other projects focused on solutions to pressing mental health issues. One team, made up of four ninth-graders from Sterling, Va., proposed “The Enhanced Therapy Machine,” which will provide a telehealth solution to make mental healthcare and support more accessible to more people.
Remedies for Public Safety Issues
Another theme that emerged from the winning regional projects was inventions aimed at enhancing public safety. One team of sixth-graders from San Jose, Calif. invented a non-lethal police weapon that uses immobilizing ammunition, called “mosquito bullets,” to stun suspects and provide a method of apprehension that is safer for police and suspects. Two second-graders from Phoenix, Ariz. decided to automate a police force, allowing “Robo-Police” to patrol and stop crime, to avoid injury to living lawmen.
In the next phase of competition, the 24 regional winners will advance to the national level. Members of first place national-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 and their parents/guardians, teachers and mentors to Washington, D.C. for an awards weekend in early June 2018. Students who travel to Washington will meet with members of Congress during a visit to Capitol Hill and display their winning ideas during a Science Showcase. The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision weekend concludes with an awards ceremony, where winners will be formally recognized for their creativity and accomplishments.
Since its inception in 1992, nearly 400,000 students from across the United States and Canada have participated in the ExploraVision program. For 26 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. To learn more, visit https://www.exploravision.org/.
For more information, visit www.exploravision.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow ExploraVision on Twitter at @ToshibaInnovate or join the ExploraVision Facebook Fan Page at www.Facebook.com/ToshibaInnovation.
For over 140 years, Toshiba Corporation has contributed to a sustainable future by applying innovative technologies to value creation. Today, our business domains are centered on the essential infrastructure that supports modern life and society. Guided by the principles of The Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, “Committed to People, Committed to the Future”, Toshiba promotes global operations that contribute to realization of a world where generations to come can live better lives.
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 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.