Eight Winning Projects Offer Glimpse into Next Generation’s Vision for the Future
ARLINGTON, Va., April 29, 2015—From a hearing aid powered by the body’s thermal energy to an external microbial cleansing device designed to capture pathogens in the blood stream, the young winners of the Toshiba/NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) ExploraVision competition have dreamed up a wide array of innovative technologies that could help build a better future. Today, the program announced the national winners of the world’s largest K-12 science and technology competition, which is designed to build problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills that are central to the Next Generation Science Standards.
Inspiring a Lifelong Passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision program challenges participants to imagine what technology might be like in 20 years. Students work in teams to propose ideas for innovative future technology based on a challenge of what already exists, simulate real scientific research to outline how they plan to test their idea, and build websites to further illustrate and communicate their concepts.
Since its inception in 1992, nearly 350,000 students have participated in the ExploraVision program. This year, 5,041 team projects were entered in the competition representing 15,473 students from across the United States and Canada.
“This year marks the 50th anniversary of Toshiba’s operations in the United States, and throughout this period, the company has maintained a strong commitment to technological innovation. The ExploraVision program represents this ideal, and continues to be the cornerstone of Toshiba’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative in North America,” said Mr. Masaaki Osumi, Toshiba America Inc.’s Chairman and CEO, and Toshiba’s Corporate Representative for the Americas. “We are extremely proud to see ExploraVision continue to succeed in its 23rd year, inspiring students to explore and develop a passion for the STEM subjects that are vital for our future.”
“The caliber of the projects entered in the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition serve as an inspirational reminder of the ingenuity that comes from igniting students’ natural curiosity in science,” said Dr. Juliana Texley, NSTA President. “These students are developing innovative solutions to show how our society can do things better and more efficiently, and we couldn’t be more excited to showcase their projects. We congratulate the national winners and commend all of the teachers for engaging and empowering their students to make a real difference in the world around them.”
Evolving Healthcare with Medical Innovations
This year, several winning student teams focused on disease prevention and improving treatment for the disabled.
Tenth grade students from Salem, Oregon developed The Suture of the Future device, which uses Programmable Bio-Scaffolding (PBS) technology and stem cells to help patients who take blood thinners heal quickly and safely from open wounds. PBS technology accelerates the healing process by precisely scaffolding wounds by binding edges of the cut together with premature stem cells.
A team of 10th grade students from Duluth, Georgia, created the External Microbial Cleansing Device (EMCD). The EMCD functions with the aid of magnetic nanobeads attached to artificially engineered human opsonin-mannose-binding lectins (MBLs) that have the capability to capture a wide variety of pathogens in the blood stream. With the availability to deliver enriching nutrients, monitor blood, and develop medical reports, the technology will drastically improve the outcome of those with pathogenic diseases.
Enhancing the Power of Sight and Sound
With the knowledge that nearly half a million people have received cochlear implants, sixth graders from Bel Air, Maryland created Clarité – A Better Cochlear Implant. Using nano-technology and graphene, the implant enables finer discrimination of frequencies, thus remarkably enhancing sound quality for the wearer.
Ninth grade students from Battle Creek, Michigan, developed the Heat Utilizing Hearing Aid to make hearing aids more accessible for those who need them. The hearing aid recharges by converting body heat into an electric charge, so that wearers across the world will be able to use it regardless of their access to electricity.
No net or goal? That’s not a problem for a team of third graders from San Diego, California. The team developed SportaVision, smart goggles powered by radio waves that create a virtual sporting experience without even stepping outside.
Creating a Safer Environment
National winners also focused on making the world more environmentally friendly. Fourth grade students from Land O’Lakes, Florida, created The Green Tablet in an effort to reduce e-waste generated each year from the disposal of electronic devices.
A team of eighth graders from Morganville, New Jersey, also recognized the need for environmentally friendly devices with the Survival of the Freshest: Preservation of Organic Food. The team developed a PACS (Protection Against Contamination and Spoilage) wrap to serve as an effective method of preserving organic food and detecting food poisoning through four layers that utilize denaturation, biosensors and electrochromism.
To help protect sea turtle hatchlings as they make their journey from the beach to the sea, third graders from Merion Station, Pennsylvania, created S.T.A.R. Sea Turtle Assistance Rod. S.T.A.R. “rescue packs” protect nests and provide a guide for turtle hatchlings to reach the ocean safely by using night vision cameras, motion sensors and solar cells.
Members of the four first place ExploraVision national winning teams will each receive a $10,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond (at maturity). Members of second place national winning teams will each receive a $5,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond (at maturity).
All students from the eight first and second place teams will receive an expenses-paid trip with their families, mentor and coach to Washington, D.C. on June 3 – 6, 2015. Activities will include a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and a Science Showcase where students will display and demonstrate their winning ideas. The highlight of the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision weekend will be a gala awards banquet and ceremony where students will be formally recognized for their creativity and accomplishments.
For more information or an application for the 2015/2016 program, visit www.exploravision.org or e-mail 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 2015 National Winners
2015 First Place Winners
Grade K–3: S.T.A.R. Sea Turtle Assistance Rod
Waldron Mercy Academy, Merion Station, PA
Grade 4–6: The Green Tablet
Pine View Middle School, Land O’Lakes, FL
Grade 7–9: Survival of the Freshest: Preservation of Organic Food
Marlboro Memorial Middle School, Morganville, NJ
Grade 10–12: Programmable Bio-Scaffolding: The Suture of the Future
West Salem High School, Salem, OR
2015 Second Place Winners
Grade K–3: SportaVision
Holmes Elementary, San Diego, CA
Grade 4–6: Clarité – A Better Cochlear Implant
Harford Day School, Bel Air, MD
Grade 7–9: Heat Utilizing Hearing Aids
Battle Creek Area Math & Science Center, Battle Creek, MI
Grade 10–12: External Microbial Cleansing Device – EMCD
Northview High School, Duluth, GA
Toshiba Corporation, a Fortune Global 500 company, channels world-class capabilities in advanced electronic and electrical product and systems into five strategic business domains: Energy & Infrastructure, Community Solutions, Healthcare Systems & Services, Electronic Devices & Components, and Lifestyles Products & Services. Guided by the principles of The Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, “Committed to People, Committed to the Future”, Toshiba promotes global operations towards securing “Growth Through Creativity and Innovation”, and is contributing to the achievement of a world in which people everywhere live in safe, secure and comfortable society. Founded in Tokyo in 1875, today’s Toshiba is at the heart of a global network of over 590 consolidated companies employing over 200,000 people worldwide, with annual sales surpassing 6.5 trillion yen (US$63 billion).
Founded in 1965 and celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Toshiba America, Inc. (TAI) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Toshiba Corporation and the holding company of nine Toshiba operating companies that offer a broad range of products and solutions for the residential, commercial, industrial and healthcare sectors. The nine companies, which along with TAI are known collectively as Toshiba America Group, are Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (Semiconductor and storage solutions), Toshiba America Energy Systems, Inc. (Power generation solutions), Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (Digital products), Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. (Diagnostic imaging solutions), Toshiba America Nuclear Energy Inc. (Nuclear power solutions), Toshiba International Corporation (Industrial, power electronics & transmission & distribution solutions), Vital Images, Inc. (Medical imaging solutions), Toshiba America Research, Inc. (R&D) and Toshiba Medical Research Institute USA, Inc. (Medical imaging R&D). Toshiba’s North-America based company and a Foundation are: Toshiba America Foundation (Supports science and mathematics education across the United States) and Toshiba of Canada, Ltd. (Made up of four operating divisions).
For more information about the Toshiba America Group, please visit www.toshiba.com.
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership includes approximately 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.
National Science Teachers Association