ExploraVision Winners Solve Future Problems
Student teams that created a magnesium-infused bulletproof vest and an edible water bottle were among the eight winners of this year’s annual ExploraVision competition.
Open to K-12 students in the United States and Canada, the Toshiba/NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) ExploraVision program, now in its 24th year, challenged entrants to think 20 years down the line to what future technologies may need to address while simulating real scientific research to outline how they plan to test their ideas.
"These inquiry-based experiences in STEM really spark a student's curiosity and let them have fun as they learn to think critically and to solve problems, two very important life skills all students should have," said NSTA President Carolyn Hayes.
Working in teams of two to four students, the participants competed in age-level groups, first at a regional level. The 24 regional winning teams were then asked to illustrate their concepts by building web pages and creating short videos. Judges then picked four first- and four second-place winners in each age category
Members of the four winning teams, in categories based on grade level, each won a $10,000 savings bond and members of second-place teams won $5,000 savings bonds. They will also visit Washington, D.C. in June on an expense-paid trip with their families, mentors and coaches to participate in a Congressional Science Showcase on Capitol Hill and an awards ceremony to formally recognize the winners.
Winning projects and their schools include:
- The Tick Detective, from Bayville Intermediate School, took first for grades 1–3;
- Hubble NEST (Next Elimination of Space Trash), of Locust Valley Intermediate School, won first place for grades 4–6;
- Bulletproof Vests, from Rothesay Netherwood Elementary School, won first place among grades 7–9;
- BEISight: Bionic Eye Implant for Sight, of University Laboratory High School, won first for grades 10–12;
- Triple-E: Edible, Electrolyte Balanced, Eco-Friendly Water Bottle, from Chapman Hill Elementary School, took second for grades 1–3;
- A.P.P.: Anti-Paralysis Procedure, of The Village School, took second for grades 4–6;
- The VISOR: A Neuro-olfaction Device for Perceiving Smell Remotely, from Arlington High School, earned second place among grades 7–9; and
Intra-Neuromuscular Cellular Regeneration Promoter, from Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School, won second place for grades 10–12.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.