2009 ExploraVision Science Competition Winners Named

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Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association have announced the eight national winners of the 2009 ExploraVision Awards Program. The annual student science competition, now in its 17th year, is touted as the largest K-12 science competition in the world. It offers prizes of up to $10,000 in savings bonds for the winners.

In the ExploraVision competition, students teams (along with a coach and mentor) choose a technology that's currently in use and explore what the technology does and how it came about; then they imagine the possibilities of what that technology could be like in the future and what problems it could solve that it doesn't solve now. To date, some 250,000 students and 20,000 teachers from more than 17,000 schools have participated in the competition. In 2009, some 4,388 teams entered, comprising 13,774 students from the United States and Canada.

There are two phases in the competition. In the first phase, 24 teams were named Regional winners and advanced to the second phase. First-phase winners were chosen in each of the designated regions in which the competition took place. Winners from the first phase received a gift and a Toshiba laptop and software for their schools. Winners in the final phase receive a $10,000 savings bond for first place and a $5,000 savings bond for second place.

This year's national winners included:

  • Grade K-3
    • First Place: Westwood Basics Plus, Irvine, CA, for "Project CTRIC Pathways," which looked at wireless power distribution for roads;
    • Second Place: A home-schooled team from Land O Lakes, FL, for "The EpiWatch," a device designed to "immediately and painlessly administer the needed medication to counteract dangerous food allergies in time to save lives";
  • Grade 4-6:
    • First Place: Guy B. Phillips Middle School, Chapel Hill, NC, for "Enerbahn," which proposed to generate solar energy from asphalt;
    • Second Place: Northside Elementary, Palmyra, PA, for "J.E.T. Music Stand," an organizer for music lesson plans and notes;
  • Grade 7-9
    • First Place: West Salem High School, Salem, OR, for "S.M.A.R.T. Paint," a type of paint that would provide relevant information about the objects it was painted onto, such as roads, pressurized tanks, etc.;
    • Second Place: North Shore Hebrew Academy High School, Great Neck, NY, for "A Better Method of Testing for Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports: Nanobiosensors--A Lab on a Chip";
  • Grade 10-12
    • First Place: University Laboratory High School, Urbana, IL, for "HEARTt: sHDL Enabled Atheroma Reverse Transport Technology"; and
    • Second Place: Manalapan High School, Englishtown, NJ, for "CHANGE: Counteracting HIV/AIDS through New Gene Enhancement."

In addition to savings bonds, winners and their families will be flown to Washington, DC for an awards weekend in early June, where they will meet with members of Congress and present their ideas.

Further information about the ExploraVision science competition can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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