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Eight Student Teams Named National Winners of 31st Annual ExploraVision Challenge


Toshiba and the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) Honor Student Innovation with Prizes and Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Toshiba and the NSTA today announced eight national winners of the 31st annual Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision challenge, the world’s largest K-12 science competition. This year’s winners have shared innovative proposals to help overcome some of the greatest challenges facing the world today, from healthcare challenges to sustainability efforts and energy efficiency.

The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision challenge is designed to inspire students to develop the skills emphasized in the Next Generation Science Standards, including problem-solving, critical-thinking and collaboration skills. To participate, students must imagine and produce a system or a technology with the potential to solve the problems of the future. Regional finalist ideas were judged by a multidisciplinary panel of scientists across various sectors of government (e.g., NIH, NASA, NSF), academic researchers, biotechnology scientists and physician researchers.

“As we celebrate the 31st year of ExploraVision, I’m consistently amazed by the students’ drive, creativity and intellect while creating solutions help solve some of the world’s most important problems,” said Mr. Ryuji Maruyama, Chairman & CEO, Toshiba America, Inc. “We are delighted to announce this year’s winners of the annual ExploraVision challenge. Every year the innovation coming from the students, with support from coaches, mentors, family and friends, continues to push beyond the limitations of what has been possible in the scientific community, and we are excited to see how these bright young minds continue to change the world.”

“We are incredibly proud of this year’s national winners. Their dedication, collaborative spirit, and desire to make a difference in the world around them is commendable,” said NSTA President Elizabeth Mulkerrin, Ed.D. “Thank you to all who participated in the competition—the students, but equally as important, the teachers, mentors, parents, and judges—all of whom play a critical role in fostering the spirit of discovery inherent in ExploraVision.” 

Medical Treatment and Health Innovations

Projects related to medical treatment and health innovations were acknowledged through creativity to envision treatment and/or prevent medical conditions. The MasterPack teamed aimed to protect children from gun violence via a lightweight, low-cost, bulletproof backpack. The ER Assistant project sought to reduce wait times in hospitals, specifically emergency rooms. To combat African river blindness, the innovation of PhageFuture was a breakthrough bacteriophage treatment on the cutting edge of medical technology. CiliaBuilder combined the use of target protein binding, often used for immunological applications, and prosthetic concepts to rebuild damaged outer ear stereocilia, a common cause of hearing loss.

Sustainability and Ecosystem Preservation

There were several projects focused on sustainability and ecosystem preservation that rose to become the national finalists. The Fungi Fabrics project utilized mycelium from the roots of mushrooms which in turn can be molded and shaped into sustainable clothing and reducing toxic waste. Martian Mycrops: Transporting Perchlorate Reducing Bacteria via Fungal Mycelium to Efficiently Reduce Perchlorate Concentration in Martian Regolith developed perchlorate reducing bacteria to effectively provide agriculture on Mars. Project Forest innovatively designed unmanned drones to stop forest fires and increase forestation simultaneously.

ExploraVision Prizes

The eight national winning teams are comprised of a first-place winner and second-place winner from four groups based on grade level. 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).

The national winners of ExploraVision 2023 are invited to participate in an award ceremony on Friday, June 9 in Washington, D.C., during which winners will have the opportunity to showcase their winning ideas in a presentation to scientist, engineer, author and inventor, Bill Nye the Science Guy. The event will culminate with an awards ceremony where students will be formally recognized for their creativity and accomplishments.

For 31 consecutive years, sponsored by Toshiba and administered by NSTA, ExploraVision 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.

For more information or to access an application for the 2023/2024 program, visit or email Follow ExploraVision on Twitter at or join the ExploraVision Facebook Page at

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision 2023 National Winners

2023 First-Place Winners

Grade K-3: MasterPack
St. Joseph’s School, Seattle, WA
Project Storyboard –

Grade 4-6:PetConnect
Open Window School, Bellevue, WA
Website -

Grade 7-9: Fungi Fabrics
W.I. Dick Middle School, Milton, ON
Website –

Grade 10-12: Martian Mycrops: Transporting Perchlorate Reducing Bacteria via Fungal Mycelium to Effectively Reduce Perchlorate Concentration in Martian Regolith
The Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, NY
Website -

2023 Second-Place Winners

Grade K-3: Project Forest
L.D. Batchelder, North Reading, MA
Project Storyboard –

Grade 4-6: The ER Assistant
W.I. Dick Middle School, Milton, ON
Website -

Grade 7-9: Isolating and Producing Targeted Bacteriophages for the Eradication of African River Blindness
Connetquot High School, Bohemia, NY
Website –

Grade 10-12: CiliaBuilder: A Hair Prosthetic for Your Ears
Alabama School of Math & Science, Mobile, AL
Website -

About Toshiba

Toshiba Corporation leads a global group of companies that combines knowledge and capabilities from over 145 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 support Toshiba’s continued evolution toward becoming an Infrastructure Services Company that promotes data utilization and digitization, and one of the world’s leading cyber-physical-systems 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 120,000 employees worldwide secured annual sales of 3.3 trillion yen (US$27.4 billion) in fiscal year 2021.

About Toshiba America, Inc.

Founded in 1965, Toshiba America, Inc. (TAI) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Toshiba Corporation and the holding company of four Toshiba operating companies that offer a broad range of products and solutions for the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. The three 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), and Toshiba International Corporation (Industrial, power electronics & transmission & distribution solutions).

About NSTA

The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is a vibrant community of 40,000 science educators and professionals committed to best practices in teaching science and its impact on student learning. NSTA offers high quality science resources and continuous learning so that science educators grow professionally and excel in their career. For new and experienced teachers alike, the NSTA community offers the opportunity to network with like-minded peers at the national level, connect with mentors and leading researchers, and learn from the best in the field. For more information, visit , or following NSTA on Twitter , Facebook , Instagram , YouTube , and LinkedIn .

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Source: Toshiba

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