Toshiba and the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) today announced the regional winners of the 28th 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 shared innovative ideas ranging from cutting-edge glasses for visually impaired children, to a ground-breaking treatment for neurological disorder diseases, to a better mosquito repellent to prevent the spread of West Nile virus, yellow fever, dengue, and malaria. 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 laptop for their school, and each member of the team will receive an Amazon echo.
“For the 28th year, young people across the country have gone above and beyond to think critically and creatively about the biggest problems facing our world,” said Ayumi Wada, Chairwoman & CEO, Toshiba America, Inc. “We applaud their ideas for new technologies and smart solutions that improve and enhance our lives and communities using AI and other cutting-edge technologies. From climate change, to life-threatening illnesses, grand problems require grand ideas and this year’s regional winners have risen to the challenge.”
ExploraVision participants were challenged to consider the future and imagine a technology that might exist 20 years from now and that might solve a problem of that future era. Using real scientific research, students outlined methods to plan and test their ideas. In the next phase of the competition, the winning regional teams will be asked to build webpages and short videos to communicate and exhibit their ideas to the public.
“These regional winners use entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and the principles of science to be forces for good,” said Dennis Schatz, NSTA President. “We congratulate all of the regional winning teams and their coaches, who exemplify the curiosity, tenacity and appetite for discovery engrained in the core of the ExploraVision program.”
Innovations in Clean and Renewable Energy
Several of the winning regional projects were focused on innovations to promote sustainability and to source alternate forms of energy. A team of two seventh and eighth graders from The Woodlands, Texas, discussed utilized a byproduct harvested from mitochondria to support powering homes and facilities.
Innovative Solutions in Healthcare
Another common theme in regional winner projects was ideas that pushed the envelope on physical and mental healthcare. Another proposal, from two twelfth-graders in Redmond, WA, called “Customizable Responsive Hydrogel Patches for Internal Use in Surgical Recovery,” is a novel graphene patch which incorporates isolating and synthetically mimicking substances from snail slime as a base for hydrogels used to aid in surgical recovery.
Solving Everyday Problems for Everyday People
Another theme that emerged from the winning regional projects was inventions aimed at enhancing the welfare and protection of the general public. A team of three third graders from Media, Pennsylvania, focused on a solution to prevent failing and slipping on black ice during cold weather. A team of four fifth graders from Gladstone, Missouri, invented “Aedes Anopheles Interceptor (AAI)” which will revolutionize the insecticide industry by using advanced nanotechnology to block mosquitoes from biting humans.
In the next phase of the 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). All first and second place national winners will receive an expense-paid trip for themselves and their parents/guardians, teachers or mentors to Washington, D.C. for an awards weekend in early June 2020. 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, over 400,000 students from across the United States and Canada have participated in the ExploraVision program. For 28 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 @ToshibaAmerica or join the ExploraVision Facebook Fan Page at www.Facebook.com/ToshibaAmerica.
Toshiba Corporation leads a global group of companies that combines knowledge and capabilities from over 140 years of experience in a wide range of businesses—from energy and social infrastructure to electronic devices—with world-class capabilities in information processing, digital and AI technologies. These distinctive strengths position Toshiba to become one of the world’s leading cyber-physical-system technology companies. Guided by the Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, “Committed to People, Committed to the Future,” Toshiba contributes to society’s positive development with services and solutions that lead to a better world. The Group and its 129,000 employees worldwide secured annual sales surpassing 3.6 trillion yen (US$33.3 billion) in fiscal year 2018.
About Toshiba America, Inc.
Founded in 1965, Toshiba America, Inc. (TAI) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Toshiba Corporation and the holding company of seven Toshiba operating companies that offer a broad range of products and solutions for the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. The seven 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 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 Teaching 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.