Frequently Asked Questions

Science fans and students are naturally inquisitive people. Over the years we've gathered the most frequently asked questions and included the answers here. If you have a question or concern that's not addressed on this page, please feel free to contact us.

Click each question below to see the answer.

Basic information

Who is eligible to participate?

Entrants must be United States or Canadian citizens or legal residents, living within the United States, U.S. Territories or Canada. Entrants must also be full-time students, in grades K – 12, currently enrolled and attending a public, private or home school.

Does the ExploraVision competition cost anything to enter?

No, there is no entry fee for the program.

How many students can enter on one team?

Two, three or four students may be on one team.

Can my home schooled students be on a team with public school students?

Yes, they can. Students from different schools and even different states may form a team.

Do team members have to be from the same school?

No, team members do not have to attend the same school or the same state.

How do I download the submission form and instructions?

Go to the Mail In Submission page, fill out the form and download the PDF submission form which includes the instructions. If you can't open the file, please download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Where can I view a sample project?

You can download real examples of past projects here.

Where do I send a completed project?

Submit your project no later than Thursday, January 30, 2014 to: Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision, 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3092. You may also submit your project online.

What is the entry deadline?

Projects must be received at Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision, 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000 by 5 pm EST, Wednesday, February 4th, 2015. (Note: Due to severe weather in the Northeast, the ExploraVision deadline has been moved to February 4.)

Will Toshiba or NSTA use my project to invent something?

Students who enter the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition retain rights to all ideas and products generated through their participation in the program. Neither NSTA nor Toshiba will attempt to patent any student work.

Coaches and Mentors

Can I be both a mentor and a coach for a team?

No, the coach must be a teacher of at least one of the students on a team, and the mentor must be a different person. A mentor may represent an organization or business, be a parent/guardian of a team member, or be another school staff member or community member.

Can the team coach sponsor more than one team?


I home school my children, can I be their coach/mentor?

For home schooled children, we recommend that the parent/teacher ask a non-team member's parent to be the coach of the team. Any parent is welcome to be the mentor of the team.

May a parent who is also a team member's teacher sponsor the team?

No, under no circumstances may a parent be the teacher coach of a team on which his or her child is a member.

How much help can our group mentor give us?

Teams have the option of selecting a mentor as an additional advisor. The role of the mentor is that of a resource person.

Can the mentor be from out of state, or does he/she need to be someone from our local community?

The mentor may be from another state. However, the coach for the team must teach at one of the team members' schools.

Project Preparation

Do I have to have a title page?

No, you may put the title at the top of the abstract and the first page of the description.

Is the abstract part of the description?

No, the abstract does not count as part of the description. It is not counted in the 11-page limit of the Description.

Is the bibliography part of the description?

No, the bibliography is in addition to the description and therefore not counted in the 11-page limit of the description.

What can I include on the sample Web page forms submitted with my description?

Web pages may be hand-drawn or computer-generated and may include text, pictures, photographs and diagrams.


How will this competition help in my teaching of science?

ExploraVision offers a great opportunity to put into practice many of the National Science Education Standards. The competition is a ready-made tool for teaching the content standards, and also provides a means to assess students' science knowledge and problem-solving abilities. Students also benefit by working on communication and collaborative group skills and taking responsibility for their own learning. And, of course, it's challenging and fun!

How can I motivate students to enter ExploraVision?

One of the crucial roles of the coach is to provide motivation. Whether you're offering constructive criticism or cheering students on, you have an important role in keeping your team on track and enthusiastic. <a href="/motivating-your-team">Read more about motivating your team</a>

Where can I learn more about the NGSS?

Get more information about the NGSS.