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September 18, 2012 > Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision launches 2013 science program

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision launches 2013 science program

Submitted By Katherine Higuera-McCoy, Photo courtesy of Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision

For the past 21 years, the "Toshiba/NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) 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 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 now available online at ExploraVision.org with the deadline for all projects January 31, 2013.

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. 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.

Among the changes 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 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.

In addition to providing students with the opportunity to win money they can use for college tuition, the program gives educators a valuable tool for helping motivate students to excel in science. As a testament to its value in schools, many teachers, 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.

"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."

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).

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 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.

For more information or an application for 2013, visit www.exploravision.org or e-mail exploravision@nsta.org.

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