Exploravision: Today's young minds drive tomorrow's innovation.

Classroom Tips: High School

Encourage minds in high school.

High-school-level science and technology should focus not only on design solutions, but also on cost, risk, benefits, potential environmental impacts and other trade-offs. These assessments are key for success in ExploraVision.

Organizing a high school ExploraVision team

1. Let Interested Students Form Their Own Teams Of Two To Four

Advertise the program to make your students aware of the ExploraVision competition through class announcements, bulletin-board postings and your school website. At this level, students should form their own teams with little teacher direction. If one or two students ask for help, suggest they look for other students with diverse interests and talents. In ExploraVision, strong writing and artistic and graphic skills are as important as technological understanding.

2. Develop A Schedule.

Help the team establish a schedule of effort to ensure it doesn't miss the deadline. Ideally, the project should begin early enough so that students can take time off during "crunch" times throughout the school year.

3. Help The Team Choose A Topic.

Meet formally every week or so to work on choosing a topic. Students should spend at least a few weeks researching new inventions and innovations to existing technology before making their choice.

4. Find A Mentor.

At this level a mentor can be the team's technical resource, help with logistics and arrange contacts with local technical experts.

5. Encourage Your Students!

It is essential that the students develop their own visions of the future. Get involved, provide feedback, resolve conflicts and pat them on the back, but don't pressure or lead your students.

You may be called upon to proofread the description and sample Web pages. You might also assist with photocopying, collating, checklist review and final mailing of the first-round submissions.

6. Research.

Help your student find an expert. High school students should be familiar with basic research resources, but most will find contact with someone in the field they are studying to be the best source of information. Engineering firms, private companies and local university professors are often willing to help. This person will probably also be able to suggest other sources for research. You or your mentor may need to set up the initial contact and go with students to their first meeting. You might even be able to establish an e-mail dialogue that's mutually beneficial.

Then encourage your students to use a wide range of resources — including the library, museums and the Internet.

If you are looking for a mentor, please contact exploravision@nsta.org.

7. Complete The Project.

It's best for students to complete the elements of the project a week or so before they must mail the entry. This leaves plenty of time for last-minute editing, photocopying and assembling.

Don't let the team's hard work go to waste because its project gets disqualified. Make sure that the students actually complete their submissions and mail them on time. Go through the checklist with the team members to ensure rules and directions have been followed to the letter.

Content Standard E: Science and Technology

As a result of activities in grades 9 – 12, all students should develop:

  • Abilities of technological design
    1. Identify a problem or design an opportunity
    2. Propose designs and choose between alternative solutions
    3. Implement a proposed solution
    4. Evaluate the solution and its consequences
    5. Communicate the problem, process and solution
  • Understandings about science and technology

Scientific inquiry is driven by the desire to understand nature; technological design is driven by the need to meet human needs and to solve human problems.

From the National Science Education Standards National Research Council, 1996


See a sample winning project from the grades 10 – 12 category



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