Regional Winners of 27th Annual ExploraVision Competition Announced by Toshiba and National Science Teachers Association

Twenty-Four Winning Teams Recognized for Innovative Solutions to the World’s Challenges

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019 9:00 am EST

Dateline:

ARLINGTON, Va.
"We congratulate all of the regional winner teams and their coaches, who exemplify the curiosity, tenacity and appetite for discovery engrained in the core of the ExploraVision program."

ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) announced today the regional winners of the 27th annual ExploraVision program, the largest K-12 science competition designed to build problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills that are central to the Next Generation Science Standards.

This year’s regional winners include innovative ideas ranging from a cortex-controlled wheelchair, to a drug-free, naloxone-free “Opi-Glove,” designed to prevent opioid overdoses. The 24 winning teams will advance to the national phase of the competition, where participants will have a chance to win $10,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bonds (at maturity) and other prizes. The winning teams will also receive a laptop for their school, and each member of the team will receive a Toshiba Canvio® Hard Drive.

“For the 27th year, young people across the country have gone above and beyond to think critically and creatively about the biggest problems facing our world,” said Noriaki Hashimoto, Chairman & CEO, Toshiba America, Inc. “We applaud their ideas for smart solutions that improve and enhance infrastructure using AI and other cutting-edge technologies. From climate change, to life-threatening illnesses, grand problems require grand ideas and this year’s regional winners have risen to the challenge.”

ExploraVision participants were challenged to consider the future and imagine a technology that might exist 20 years from now and that might solve a problem of that future era. Using real scientific research, students outlined methods to plan and test their ideas. In the next phase of the competition, the winning regional teams will be asked to build webpages and short videos to communicate and exhibit their ideas to the public.

“These regional winners use entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and the principles of science to be forces for good,” said Dr. David Evans, NSTA Executive Director. “We congratulate all of the regional winner teams and their coaches, who exemplify the curiosity, tenacity and appetite for discovery engrained in the core of the ExploraVision program.”

Innovations in Clean and Renewable Energy
Several of the winning regional projects were focused on innovations to promote sustainability and to source alternate forms of energy. A team of four sixth-graders from The Woodlands, Texas, created an alternative to solar panels that allows algae to grow and convert carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to oxygen. Another team of three students, ranging from ninth to twelfth grade, from Oceanside, Calif., proposed a way to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through the introduction of genetically modified bacteria that binds these gases, keeping them from escaping into the environment.

Innovative Solutions in Healthcare
Another common theme in regional winner projects was ideas that pushed the envelope on physical and mental healthcare. A team of two first-graders from Ashland, Va., seek to cut down the amount of time people must wear a cast after injury, proposing an “Insta-Cast,” which would both protect the broken bone and foster faster healing through the introduction of collagen. Another proposal, from four twelfth-graders in Jericho, N.Y., called “Cancer BAN-R,” or “the Cancer Blood and Nerve Regeneration,” is a novel graphene patch which incorporates laser sensors, microneedles, nanotechnology and growth hormones to mitigate the negative impacts of life-saving, but challenging chemoradiation. Not one, but two teams—one made of four sixth-graders from Nashua, N.H., and another team of three tenth-graders from Miami, Fla.,—proposed a patch device, “EpiPatch,” which will detect signs of impending shock due to a severe allergy and send a wireless signal to a reservoir containing epinephrine to release the drug in a timed and precise dose.

Other projects focused on solutions to pressing mental health issues. One team, made up of two sixth-graders from Wilson, North Carolina, proposed “The ADHD Watch,” which will deliver a continuous dose of medication though a watch, using a timer to control when the medication is given.

Solving Everyday Problems for Everyday People
Another theme that emerged from the winning regional projects was inventions aimed at enhancing the welfare and protection of the general public. One team of eighth-graders from Urbana, Ill., invented “NewFerro Roads” which will revolutionize road maintenance by using an advanced magnetic nanofluid that allows roads to self-repair. Four ninth-graders from Miami, Fla., decided to create “The Self-Filling Water Bottle” which utilizes metal-organic frameworks to extract the water vapor in the air and condense it into a water bottle, allowing unlimited access to clean water.

In the next phase of the competition, the 24 regional winners will advance to the national level. Members of first place national-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). All first and second place national winners will receive an expense-paid trip for themselves and their parents/guardians, teachers and mentors to Washington, D.C. for an awards weekend in early June 2019. Students who travel to Washington will meet with members of Congress during a visit to Capitol Hill and display their winning ideas during a Science Showcase. The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision weekend concludes with an awards ceremony, where winners will be formally recognized for their creativity and accomplishments.

Since its inception in 1992, over 400,000 students from across the United States and Canada have participated in the ExploraVision program. For 27 consecutive years, the program has helped children to expand their imagination and have fun while developing an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education at an early age. To learn more, visit https://www.exploravision.org/.

For more information, visit www.exploravision.org or email exploravision@nsta.org. Follow ExploraVision on Twitter at @ToshibaInnovate or join the ExploraVision Facebook Fan Page at www.Facebook.com/ToshibaInnovation.

About Toshiba
Toshiba Corporation leads a global group of companies that combines knowledge and capabilities from over 140 years of experience in a wide range of businesses—from energy and social infrastructure to electronic devices—with world-class capabilities in information processing, digital and AI technologies. These distinctive strengths position Toshiba to become one of the world’s leading cyber-physical-system technology companies. Guided by the Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, “Committed to People, Committed to the Future,” Toshiba contributes to society’s positive development with services and solutions that lead to a better world. The Group and its 132,000 employees worldwide secured annual sales surpassing 3.9 trillion yen (US$37.2 billion) in fiscal year 2017.

About Toshiba America, Inc.
Founded in 1965,  Toshiba America, Inc.  (TAI) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Toshiba Corporation and the holding company of seven Toshiba operating companies that offer a broad range of products and solutions for the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. The seven companies, which along with TAI are known collectively as Toshiba America Group, are Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (Semiconductor solutions), Toshiba America Energy Systems, Corp. (Power generation solutions), Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (Digital products and SmartGlass), Toshiba America LNG Corporation (Liquefied Natural Gas), Toshiba America Nuclear Energy Inc. (Nuclear power solutions), Toshiba International Corporation (Industrial, power electronics & transmission & distribution solutions),and Toshiba America Research, Inc. (R&D).

About NSTA
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence in science teaching and learning, preschool through college. NSTA’s membership includes approximately 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business representatives, and others involved in science education.

Contact:

Laura Davenport
Ketchum
202-835-9433
Laura.Davenport@ketchum.com

Kate Falk
National Science Teachers Association
703-312-9211
kfalk@nsta.org

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