STEM Contests | News

2014 ExploraVision Competition Opens

Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association have opened the 2014 ExploraVision Program. The annual student science competition, now in its 22st year, offers prizes of up to $10,000 and is open to K-12 students in the United States and Canada.

The competition is administered by the NSTA and underwritten by Toshiba.

"ExploraVision gives K-12 educators a dynamic teaching tool that complements today's nationwide education initiatives. By emphasizing teamwork, creativity, and critical thinking, ExploraVision helps to promote and strengthen science learning among students while sparking their imaginations in the STEM disciplines," said David Evans, NSTA executive director, in a prepared statement.

In the ExploraVision competition, teams of two to four students (along with a teacher 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.

Students will compete in one of four groups: primary (K-3), upper elementary (4-6), middle level (7-9), and high school (10-12). (Younger students can participate in groups one level above their actual grade level.)

There are two phases in the competition. In the first phase, 24 teams will be named regional winners and advance to the second phase. First-phase winners are chosen in each of the designated regions in which the competition takes place. Winners from the first phase receive a gift and win a Toshiba laptop and software for their schools.

In the second phase, teams create a Web site showcasing their projects. Judges then choose eight winning national teams. Members of the four first-place teams each receive a $10,000 savings bond. Second-place winners receive a $5,000 savings bond. All eight finalists will receive a trip to the ExploraVision Awards Weekend in Washington, DC in June. Students from each of the 24 regional winners will also receive additional Toshiba technologies.

In addition, the teacher who submits the most eligible projects in a given category will receive a Toshiba tablet, while the school submitting the most projects will receive $1,000 in Toshiba gear.

To date, some 315,000 students have submitted projects to the competition. And, according to the organizers, some schools have even made the competition a part of their regular science curriculum.

Entries for the competition are due Jan. 30, 2014.

A free webinar, "What Is ExploraVision and How Can I Use It in My Classroom?" is being held to familiarize teachers with the program. It takes place Sept. 26.

Complete details and entry materials can be found at exploravision.org.

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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