We’re thrilled to unveil this year’s outstanding national finalists of the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards! These brilliant young minds have impressed us with their innovative ideas and dedication. As a token of appreciation, each finalist will be rewarded with a savings bond of up to $10,000 and an unforgettable trip to Washington, D.C.
Let’s take a moment to acknowledge the exceptional work of this year’s first-place national winners in each category. In the Grade K-3 division, we have the remarkable team from St. Joseph’s School in Seattle, WA, with their project “MasterPack.” In a world where armed violence poses a significant threat to children’s safety, a team of young inventors from St. Joseph’s School in Seattle, WA, has emerged as the first-place winners in the Grade K-3 category of the 2023 Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards. Their groundbreaking creation, MasterPack, is a backpack designed to shield kids from armed violence, offering comprehensive protection and advanced features.
Addressing the Problem:
The alarming statistics reveal that firearms are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. Traditional solutions like bulletproof blankets are impractical for daily use, and existing Kevlar backpacks only provide limited protection. These backpacks fail to safeguard crucial areas such as the sides, head, neck, and legs, while also falling short against automatic weapons or rifles.
The team at St. Joseph’s School recognized the urgency to develop a more effective solution. MasterPack stands out as a revolutionary backpack that deploys a bullet-proof graphene shield, offering unparalleled protection for a child’s entire body. The backpack incorporates radio frequency harvesting for reliable power and includes GPS technology to keep parents and law enforcement informed of the child’s location. Additionally, the inclusion of a net launcher helps to impede and immobilize potential threats.
The Mechanics Behind MasterPack:
The MasterPack shield is composed of graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. Graphene is renowned for being the thinnest, lightest, and strongest material known to humankind. Leveraging its exceptional strength, MasterPack is twice as effective as Kevlar in stopping various types of bullets.
The backpack’s radio frequency harvesting system captures electromagnetic waves from sources like TV signals, wireless radio networks, and cell phone towers. This captured energy is converted into power to sustain the backpack’s functionalities. Equipped with an antenna and an RF to DC converter, MasterPack effectively utilizes this harvested energy.
The MasterPack invention by the talented young minds of St. Joseph’s School showcases the power of innovation in tackling critical issues. Their backpack not only offers comprehensive protection against armed violence but also harnesses cutting-edge technology to provide reliable power and location tracking. This remarkable creation sets a new standard for safeguarding children and emphasizes the importance of STEM education in addressing real-world problems. Congratulations to the Grade K-3 first-place winners for their visionary solution, and let us hope that MasterPack serves as a catalyst for wider discussions and advancements in ensuring a safer future for our children.