Registration Open for World’s Largest K-12 Science Competition
ARLINGTON, Va. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — September 15, 2014 — The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision program is kicking off its 23rd year of the world’s largest K-12 science competition with registration now open. Sponsored by Toshiba and administered by NSTA, the ExploraVision program builds problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration skills that are central to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Students have a chance to win $10,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bonds (at maturity) and other great prizes. Registration is open until January 30, 2015 at ExploraVision.org.
Encompassing specific science and engineering practices found in the NGSS, the competition works towards the vision of the standards by inviting K-12 students to think ahead 20 years into the future and propose an idea for a new technology based on a challenge or limitation of what exists today. They are then challenged to simulate real scientific research to outline how they plan to test their idea and create a mock website to illustrate their concept. Since its inception in 1992, the program has helped more than 330,000 students across the United States and Canada expand their imaginations and creativity, as well as develop interests in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education at an early age. Last year’s winning projects featured a safety device that sounds an alarm to protect children and animals when a car is too hot, auto-adjustable eye glasses to help vision impairment, a plane de-icing method derived from a lotus leaf pattern and a thermal energy-based solution for powering medical implants.
“At Toshiba, we believe that creativity is crucial to the scientific process, and we are proud to sponsor Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision for the 23rd year as part of our company’s commitment to inspiring the next generation of innovators,” said Mr. Masaaki Osumi, Toshiba America Inc.’s Chairman and CEO, and Toshiba’s Corporate Representative for the Americas.
“ExploraVision provides a hands-on learning experience for K-12 students and allows them to see the scientific process unfold from idea to fruition. The competition process is also a dynamic learning tool for educators as it complements nationwide education initiatives and provides a unique opportunity for students to practice teamwork, problem solving and creative thinking,” said Dr. David Evans, NSTA Executive Director.
Competition Opportunities & Prizes for Students
Student teams of two to four (with a teacher and optional adult mentor) compete in groups based on their grade levels: primary (K-3), upper elementary (4-6), middle level (7-9), and high school (10-12). There are two winner phases to the competition – regional and national. The 24 winning teams from six regions across the United States and Canada will receive a Toshiba laptop for their school, and each member of the team will receive additional Toshiba technology.
For the national phase, members of first place nationally winning teams each receive a $10,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond (at maturity). Members of second place nationally winning teams will each receive a $5,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond (at maturity). Canadian winners receive Canada bonds purchased for the equivalent issue price in Canadian dollars. All first and second place national winners will receive an all-expense paid trip for their parents/guardians, teacher and mentors to Washington, D.C. for a gala awards weekend in June 2015. Activities will include a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and a Science Showcase during which the students will display and demonstrate their winning ideas. The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision weekend will culminate with a gala awards banquet and ceremony where students will be formally recognized for their creativity and accomplishments.
In addition, students in grades 8-11 who enter a project into the ExploraVision program, as well as participating teachers, will also be eligible to apply for the TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy, an expense paid week-long cross-cultural STEM exchange program held in Tokyo where students and teachers from the United States work closely with a team of Japanese counterparts to develop proposed solutions to global issues.
Educator Resources & Benefits
This year, ExploraVision is offering special incentives and resources for teachers to help them integrate the competition into their curricula. On Thursday, October 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, ExploraVision will host a free, interactive Google Hangout with special guest & program co-founder Dr. Arthur Eisenkraft to discuss how the competition addresses the practices of the NGSS by engaging students in problem solving and critical thinking activities. Teachers can sign up on the NSTA Google+ page. Teachers can find additional seminars and other resources at http://www.exploravision.org/for-teachers. Also new this year, to celebrate ExploraVision’s 23rd anniversary, the top 23 teachers who submit over 23 eligible online entries will win a Toshiba Tablet.
Teachers can learn more information about the 2014/2015 competition by watching ExploraVision’s new video hosted by Bill Nye the Science Guy or visiting www.exploravision.org. Follow ExploraVision on Twitter at @ToshibaInnovate or join the ExploraVision Facebook Fan Page at www.Facebook.com/ToshibaInnovation.
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). Toshiba America, Inc. is the holding company for five Toshiba operating companies in the United States and employs over 20,000 people in North America.
Toshiba’s North-America based companies and some of their chief products are as follows: Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (Semiconductors, Flash Memory-Based Storage Solutions, LCD, custom chips, and Hard Disk Drives); Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (Tablets, Laptop Computers, Telephony Products, Flat Panel LCD TVs, and portable products); Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc. (Copiers, Facsimiles, Printers and Digital Signage); Toshiba International Corporation (Motors, Motor Controls, Power Electronics, Power Generation Equipment, Automation); Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. (Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance, X-ray and Ultrasound); Toshiba America Nuclear Energy Corporation (Advanced Boiling Water Nuclear Reactors); Toshiba America Foundation (Supports science and mathematics education across the United States) and Toshiba of Canada, Ltd. (Made up of four operating divisions).
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.