Eight Student Teams Named National Winners of 26th Annual ExploraVision Competition
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 including problem-solving, critical-thinking and collaboration skills. The competition begins with the imagining and design of technology with the potential to change our future. Finalists were asked bring their ideas to life through a website and short videos demonstrating how the prototype of their designs might work.
“Now in its 26th year, the ExploraVision competition continues to promote creativity and innovation in the next generation, while fostering their interest in STEM fields,” said Noriaki Hashimoto, Chairman & CEO, Toshiba America, Inc. “As a company with a rich history in technology and innovation, we proudly support the innovative leaders of tomorrow.”
Since its inception in 1992, nearly 400,000 students from across the United States and Canada have entered in the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision program.
“It is both exciting and rewarding to see students of all ages using the practices of science to pose and answer questions, solve problems, and envision the future,” said Dr. David Evans, NSTA executive director. “We are extremely proud of all of the student winners and are also grateful for their teachers, mentors and coaches who have encouraged, supported and guided them through the competition.”
A theme among this year’s winning teams’ projects was their focus on innovations surrounding the detection and treatment of diseases.
A team of third graders from St. Thomas the Apostle in Miami, Fla., developed The Smart Toilet, an in-home appliance that monitors the user’s excretory samples for abnormalities, to ultimately alert the user of the need for medical attention as needed. Another team, made up of sixth graders from Plainview Old Bethpage Middle School in Plainview, N.Y., designed CFAST – Cystic Fibrosis Absorbent Sponge Technology – a medical patch containing nanosponges that absorb the excess mucus produced by people with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Without removal, mucus covers vital organs, making it hard to breathe and inhibiting CF patients’ ability process important nutrients.
A third team developed a Targeted Two-Drug Combo Therapy for Lupus to serve as a cure for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, an autoimmune disease that is currently without a cure. Eleventh and twelfth graders from Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences in Granada Hills, Calif., based their invention on recent research that proposed the combination of two drugs for the normalization of T-cell metabolism, which could have a positive effect on Lupus patient outcomes.
Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have deficits in emotion recognition abilities. To help those with ASD, a team of ninth graders from Saint Anthony's High School in South Huntington, N.Y., created Emotion Recognition, an adaption of wearable, smart electronic devices that will deliver personalized, always-on therapy for kids and teenagers with ASD.
Another team seeks to help societies across the world understand each other better. Seventh and eighth graders from The Gagie School in Kalamazoo, Mich., designed an interactive “visual language” technology, tapping into the human mind’s inclination to visual learning, to ultimately break down barriers and unify the different cultures of the world.
A team of third graders from the L. D. Batchelder School in North Reading, Mass., want to equip our nation’s farmers with technology to help manage their crops. Their invention is a wireless sensor system that automatically monitors the conditions of the soil and crops, alerting farmers to the first signs of a problem.
The Future of Energy
Other teams focused on improving modern clean energy systems to prepare for changing environmental quality. One team of fifth and sixth graders from St. Brother Andre in Ottawa, Ontario, proposed a Perpetual Energy Motor capable of running electric cars without the need for recharging. Meanwhile, the eleventh graders of Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, N.Y., reinvented the solar cell utilizing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with their Polychiral Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube Solar Cells. This process converts the energy of light directly into electricity through the photovoltaic effect, which is a physical and chemical phenomenon.
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 an awards weekend from June 6-9, 2018. 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 an awards ceremony where students will be formally recognized for their creativity and accomplishments.
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 or to access an application for the 2018/2019 program, 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.
Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision 2018 National Winners
2018 First-Place Winners
Grade K-3: Integrated Smart Wireless Agriculture Remote Management
L. D. Batchelder School, North Reading, Mass.
Grade 4-6: The CFAST - Cystic Fibrosis Absorbant Sponge Technology
Plainview Old Bethpage Middle School, Plainview, N.Y.
Grade 7-9: Emotion Recognition: The Personalized Future of Autism Therapy
Saint Anthony's High School, South Huntington, N.Y.
Grade 10-12: Polychiral Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube Solar Cells
Ward Melville High School, East Setauket, N.Y.
2018 Second-Place Winners
Grade K-3: The Smart Toilet
St. Thomas the Apostle, Miami, Fla.
Grade 4-6: Perpetual Energy Motor
St. Brother Andre, Ottawa, Ontario
Grade 7-9: Word Watch
The Gagie School, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Grade 10-12: Targeted Two-Drug Combo Therapy for Lupus
Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences, Granada Hills, Calif.
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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 Information Systems, Inc. (Digital products), Toshiba America LNG Corporation (Liquefied Natural Gas), 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.