For the past 21 years, the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Program has motivated hundreds of thousands of students across the U.S. and Canada to excel – and have fun – at science. The world’s largest K-12 student science competition, Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision is a hands-on program that has evolved over the years, and continues to inspire young people to tap into their creativity, use critical-thinking, and combine it with the tools of science and technology to come up with ideas and inventions that could make the world a better place in the future. Applications for the 2013 competition are available online at ExploraVision.org. The deadline for all projects is January 31, 2013.
Changes in 2013 Program Align It with NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education
Underwritten by Toshiba and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), ExploraVision challenges students to work in a team of two to four to research scientific principles and current technologies as the basis for designing innovative technologies that could exist in 20 years. Throughout its history, Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision has always remained true to its core mission, to encourage excellence and motivate students in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) disciplines. This year, ExploraVision is unveiling several key changes that align the program more closely with the National Research Council’s (NRC) Framework for K-12 Science Education, which will help define science education for the next 20 years and become a foundation for the development of the Next Generation Science Standards. Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision is one of the first national competitions to align its efforts with this new initiative.
Among the changes to this year’s program, is a requirement that as students provide an overview of their project idea for a new technology, they must also define a key challenge or limitation of the present technology upon which their idea is based. Additionally, students must describe a research project that would have to be planned and carried out in order to test their ExploraVision project, including, if possible, the type of data or measurements that would be used in the assessment. For the first time, team members must also create a Web page devoted to a depiction of a model or visual representation of the technology that could be used to create a prototype for display.
Mr. Masaaki Osumi, Toshiba America Inc.’s Chairman and CEO, and Toshiba’s Corporate Representative for the Americas, commented on the importance of ExploraVision to the company’s global initiative to enhance science education, noting: “Toshiba is a global company, and here in North America, we are engaged in a wide variety of different businesses and activities, everything from the development of semiconductors and laptop computers to the manufacturing of advanced power generation equipment, magnetic resonance imaging and x-ray equipment. What ties everything together for Toshiba is our corporate wide passion for innovation, science and learning, and the ExploraVision program is a perfect reflection of these ideals. Toshiba and other technology companies need innovators for the future, and it’s especially gratifying to us that so many of our past ExploraVision winners have told us how participating in this program taught them to appreciate innovation and creativity. We are also especially pleased that ExploraVision has become such a major part of the science curriculum in schools throughout the country, and by aligning it even more closely with the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education, we are confident that the program will continue to play an increasingly important role in science education.”
“The key to cultivating and sustaining the next generation’s interest in science, technology, engineering and math is to engage them in discovery and innovation,” said Dr. Gerry Wheeler, interim executive director, NSTA. “The ExploraVision program not only teaches important lessons about real science through critical-thinking and cooperative learning, it provides an excellent way to spark the imagination of students in the STEM disciplines.”
A Valuable Tool for promotion STEM
In addition to providing students with the opportunity to win money they can use for college tuition, the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Program gives educators a valuable tool for helping motivate students to excel in science. As a testament to its value in schools, the program has become so popular among teachers that many across the U.S. and Canada now include it as part of their regular science curriculum. Since the program’s inception in 1992, more than 300,000 students have submitted projects.
Students on the four first-place Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision winning teams will each receive a $10,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond (at maturity). Students on second-place teams will each receive a $5,000 Savings Bond (at maturity). (Canadian winners receive Canada bonds purchased for the equivalent issue price in Canadian dollars.) The eight teams will also receive an expenses-paid trip with their families, mentor and coach to Washington, D.C. for a gala awards weekend in June 2013. 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 highlight of the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision weekend will be a gala awards banquet and ceremony where students will be formally recognized for their creativity and accomplishments. Each of the 24 regional winning teams receives a Toshiba laptop for their school and each member of the regional winning teams will receive a Toshiba HD Camcorder.
This year, the teacher who submits the most eligible team projects in each grade category will receive a Toshiba tablet, and the school that submits the most eligible projects will receive $1,000 worth of Toshiba technology. Teachers can learn more about ExploraVision and how to use it as a tool in the classroom through a series of Web seminars at The NSTA Learning Center.
For more information or an application for 2013, visit www.exploravision.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow ExploraVision on Twitter at @ToshibaInnovate or join the ExploraVision Facebook Fan Page at www.Facebook.com/ToshibaInnovation.
Toshiba is a world-leading diversified manufacturer, solutions provider and marketer of advanced electronic and electrical products and systems. Toshiba Group brings innovation and imagination to a wide range of businesses: digital products, including LCD TVs, notebook PCs, retail solutions and MFPs; electronic devices, including semiconductors, storage products and materials; industrial and social infrastructure systems, including power generation systems, smart community solutions, medical systems and escalators & elevators; and home appliances. Toshiba was founded in 1875, and employs over 20,000 people in North America and Toshiba America, Inc., is the holding company for five Toshiba operating companies in the United States.
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. (Laptop Computers, Telephony Products, Flat Panel LCD TVs, and portable products); Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc. (Copiers, Facsimiles, Printers); 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 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.