NEW YORK, NEW YORK, October 2006–There’s a good chance the next Thomas Alva Edison, Alexander Graham Bell or Marie Curie is out shopping for back-to-school supplies right now, and the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards program wants to make sure they get all the encouragement they need when the bell rings! ExploraVision, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, has motivated more than 210,000 students in grades K-12 to discover the fun and excitement of science, and to learn how to see its wonders in the world all around them.
Sponsored by Toshiba Corporation, Toshiba America Group Companies, Toshiba of Canada Ltd. and Toshiba America Foundation and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the ExploraVision program is one of the world’s largest K-12 science and technology competitions, in which student teams choose a current technology, research and explore its background, then imagine what it might be like in 20 years. Students ground their creative ideas using real science and present their invention using written descriptions and artwork. They also discuss the possible positive and negative consequences that could occur should their vision become reality–just like real scientists.
ExploraVision has continued to grow in popularity with both students and teachers and has become part of the science curriculum in many schools around the country. Many former winners have gone on to pursue careers in science and related fields.
Imagining a Better Future
The imaginative ideas that ExploraVision students come up with hold the key to a better future for us all. Some of last year’s winners, for instance, imagined a world where special boots would convert the energy created by your footsteps into heat, automatically keeping your feet warm in cold weather, and where a healing pressure face mask could help alleviate suffering for severe burn and scar victims. Other past winners have imagined advancements such as satellite landmine detectors, vision enhancement devices, a non-surgical method for treating appendicitis, a refrigerator with a brain, snow tires with retractable studs, and a submersible device to rid waterways of invasive alien plant life.
ExploraVision is also a great way for students to begin planning for their future. Winning students on the four first-place teams each receive a $10,000 US Savings Bond (series EE Savings Bonds issued at $5,000). Students on second-place teams each receive a $5,000 US Savings Bond (series EE Savings Bonds issued at $2,500). First- and second-place Canadian winning teams each receive Canada Savings Bonds of comparable issue price, respectively (based on current exchange rate at time of purchase).
How the ExploraVision Program Works
Participating in teams of two to four and guided by a coach (and an optional mentor), students select a technology that is currently used–whether as simple as a pencil or as complex as a quantum computer. Teams research and explore what the technology does and how, when, and why it was invented.
In the first phase of the competition, a judging committee reviews and selects 24 winning projects, one from each of four grade-level categories (K-3; 4-6; 7-9; 10-12) in six regions across the United States and Canada. Each member of the 24 regional winning teams, including coaches and mentors, is awarded a special gift, and each of their schools receives a Toshiba laptop computer and software. In the second phase of the competition, the 24 regional finalist teams create Web pages showcasing their technology. The judges then choose eight national winning teams.
This year’s finalist team members, parents and coaches will be awarded a trip to Washington, D.C. in June 2007 for a gala celebration at which their awards will be presented.
The deadline for ExploraVision entries is January 30, 2007. For more information about the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards program or to obtain entry materials and a copy of the official rules, visit the ExploraVision Web site at www.exploravision.org; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; call 1-800-EXPLOR-9; or write to Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201.
The Toshiba Corporation, based in Tokyo, is a diversified manufacturer and marketer of advanced electronic and electrical products, spanning information and communications equipment and systems, Internet-based solutions and services, electronic components and materials, power systems, industrial and social infrastructure systems, and household appliances. Toshiba America, Inc., is the holding company for Toshiba’s five operating companies with about 8,000 employees in the United States.
The U.S.-based operating companies and some of their chief products are as follows: Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (Flash Memory, LCD Panels, Microprocessors); Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (Notebook Computers, Storage Devices, Imaging Systems); Toshiba International Corporation (Power Generation Equipment, Industrial Motors); Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. (CT, Ultrasound, and MRI); Toshiba America Consumer Products, LLC (HDTVs, HD DVD, Digital Home Theater Products); Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc. (Copiers, Facsimiles, Toner Products). The Toshiba America Foundation supports science and mathematics education across the United States. Toshiba of Canada, Ltd. is made up of four operating divisions. About NSTA
The National Science Teachers Association is the largest professional organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership includes more than 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, business and industry representatives, scientists, and others involved in science education.