Eight Student Teams Honored as National Winners of 2016 ExploraVision Competition

Toshiba and National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Honor National Winners with Prizes and Trip to Washington, D.C.

ARLINGTON, Va.--()--Eight student teams from the U.S. and Canada were announced today as national winners of the 24th Annual Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition. From a magnesium-infused bulletproof vest to an edible water bottle, the winning projects seek to advance medical, environmental and even military technologies.

“As a company that prides itself on creating a better tomorrow through technology, we’re proud to partner with the National Science Teachers Association to celebrate the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators.”

The world’s largest K-12 science competition, the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition is designed to build problem-solving, critical-thinking and collaboration skills emphasized in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Student participants are challenged to imagine a technological innovation that could make a difference 20 years into the future. They work in teams to propose ideas for future technology based on an existing societal challenge and simulate real scientific research to outline how they plan to test their idea. Since its inception in 1992, more than 360,000 students from across the United States and Canada have participated in the ExploraVision program.

Following last month’s announcement of the 24 regional winning teams, the finalists were asked to further illustrate their innovative concepts by building web pages and creating short videos. Eight national winning teams were chosen and are comprised of a first-place winner and second-place winner from four groups based on grade level.

“The ExploraVision program gives young minds the opportunity to practice creativity, collaboration, and most importantly, innovative thinking,” said Mr. Fumio Otani, Chairman & CEO, Toshiba America, Inc. “As a company that prides itself on creating a better tomorrow through technology, we’re proud to partner with the National Science Teachers Association to celebrate the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators.”

“Congratulations to the 2016 winning teams and our deepest thanks and appreciation to Toshiba for their continued support of the ExploraVision competition,” said Carolyn Hayes, NSTA President. “Over the last 24 years this competition has allowed hundreds of thousands of students to create, innovate, communicate, and collaborate on some terrific projects that are driven by their own interests. These inquiry-based experiences in STEM really spark a student’s curiosity and let them have fun as they learn to think critically and to solve problems, two very important life skills all students should have.”

The Future of Healthcare

This year, several winning student teams focused on innovative technologies to both treat and prevent harmful diseases.

Third graders from Bayville, N.Y. created the Tick Detective, a scanning device that uses chemical and electronic signals to detect the presence of a deer tick on the human body to prevent transmission of serious diseases such as Lyme disease. High schoolers from Plainview, N.Y. envisioned an implant designed to be surgically inserted into damaged tissue to promote new cell growth among those with neurodegenerative disorders like multiple sclerosis and ALS.

Other students envisioned technologies to help those who suffer from physical disabilities.

Sixth graders from Houston, Texas, imagined a technology that relies on the neuron-regenerating ability of crayfish stem cells to potentially treat those suffering from paralysis. High schoolers from Urbana, Ill., created the Bionic Eye Implant for Sight (BEISight), a visual prosthesis comprised of a solar panel, two cylindrical cameras and electrical signals, designed for long-term use by people who have damaged or deteriorating retinas.

A Better Environment for Tomorrow

Thirsty for an eco-friendly water bottle? Third graders from Salem, Ore., designed the water bottle of the future, The Triple-E (Edible, Electrolyte Balanced, Eco-Friendly). It uses an app to program a 3-D printer to create customized, edible water bottles with electrolytes that match the consumers’ specific needs. Not only does it contribute to a healthier body, but it also eliminates plastic waste from water bottles.

Some students created “out of this world” environmental solutions. Fifth graders from Locust Valley, N.Y. devised the Hubble Space Telescope NEST (Next Elimination of Space Trash), a technology that will clean up damaging space junk by leveraging the Hubble Telescope and robotic drones.

Impactful Innovations

Other teams studied today’s technological devices and envisioned ways to advance them even further. A team of eighth graders from Rothesay, New Brunswick created a new kind of bulletproof vest that has the potential to revolutionize bullet safety. Their vest is made of magnesium-infused metal, allowing it to stand up to the most extreme conditions and more effectively protect vital organs. A Lagrangeville, N.Y., team advanced the way smells are perceived with the VISOR, a neuro-olfactory device. VISOR uses electrodes positioned over the olfactory bulb to sense neural signals triggered by smell, eventually translating into electric waveforms. This breakthrough could overcome shortcomings in prior technology and have profound impacts on education, entertainment, and e-commerce.

ExploraVision Prizes

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). Canadian winners will receive Canada bonds purchased for the equivalent issue price in Canadian dollars. All first- and second-place national winners will also receive an expense-paid trip for themselves, a parent or/guardian, their teacher and their mentor, to Washington, D.C., for a gala awards weekend in June 2016. Students will meet with members of Congress during a visit to Capitol Hill and display their winning ideas at a Science Showcase. The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision weekend will conclude with a gala awards banquet and ceremony to formally recognize the winners for their creativity and accomplishments.

For more information or to access an application for the 2016/2017 program, visit www.exploravision.org or e-mail exploravision@nsta.org. Follow ExploraVision on Twitter at @ToshibaInnovate or join the ExploraVision Facebook Fan Page at www.Facebook.com/ToshibaInnovation.

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision 2016 National Winners

2016 First Place Winners

Grade K–3: The Tick Detective
Bayville Intermediate, Bayville, N.Y.
Website: http://nstawebdirector.wix.com/thetickdetective

Grade 4–6: Hubble NEST (Next Elimination of Space Trash)
Locust Valley Intermediate School, Locust Valley, N.Y.
Website: http://nstawebdirector.wix.com/hubblenest

Grade 7–9: Bulletproof Vests
Rothesay Netherwood School, Rothesay, New Brunswick
Website: http://dev.nsta.org/evwebs/2195g/

Grade 10–12: BEISight: Bionic Eye Implant for Sight
University Laboratory High School, Urbana, Ill.
Website: http://dev.nsta.org/evwebs/2638b/

2016 Second Place Winners

Grade K–3: Triple-E: Edible, Electrolyte Balanced, Eco-Friendly Water Bottle
Chapman Hill, Salem, Ore.
Website: http://dev.nsta.org/evwebs/1458a/

Grade 4–6: A.P.P.: Anti-Paralysis Procedure
The Village School, Houston, Texas
Website: http://nstawebdirector.wix.com/app-ex-1

Grade 7–9: The VISOR: A Neuro-olfaction Device for Perceiving Smell Remotely
Arlington High School, Lagrangeville, N.Y.
Website: http://dev.nsta.org/evwebs/3978m/

Grade 10–12: Intra-Neuromuscular Cellular Regeneration Promoter
Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School, Plainview, N.Y.
Website: http://dev.nsta.org/evwebs/4804b/

About Toshiba

Founded in 1965, Toshiba America, Inc. (TAI) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Toshiba Corporation and the holding company of six Toshiba operating companies that offer a broad range of products and solutions for the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. The six 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, Corp. (Power generation solutions), Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (Digital products), Toshiba America Nuclear Energy Inc. (Nuclear power solutions), Toshiba International Corporation (Industrial, power electronics & transmission & distribution solutions), and Toshiba America Research, Inc. (R&D).

For more information visit www.toshiba.com

About NSTA

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.

Contacts

Ketchum
Devon Horowitz, 202-835-9410
devon.horowitz@ketchum.com
or
National Science Teachers Association
Cindy Workosky, 703-312-9248
cworkosky@nsta.org

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