Science Technology Competition (North America)
Toshiba has organized the ExploraVision Awards (EVA), a science and technology contest for U.S. and Canadian students from kindergarten through high school, in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) since 1992.
EVA is a science technology contest with a dream, predicting future technologies that might be realized in 20 years based on existing science and technology. Entering its 23th year of existence this year, EVA has very long history of any activity conducted by a Japanese company to support science education in the U.S.. About 350,000 students have participated so far, and 5,041 teams and 15,473 children subscribed for the contest this year.
Every year, we invite the eight teams that have made the most outstanding proposals to Washington, DC to be presented with awards. In addition to offering the students a forum in which to exhibit their prizewinning projects, the event also affords them an opportunity to visit their local congressmen and senators in order to present their reports. Toshiba employees also participate in a variety of ways, including managing events and leading teams.
Children form teams with their teachers, and commence entry procedures from September. For each theme, the teams study the existing science and technology, and using this as a base propose a technology that they would like to see realized in 20 years.
The proposals are then reviewed, and in March the best 24 teams are selected as Regional Winners. Following this, the proposals made by the Regional Winners are published on the EVA website, and in April four teams are selected to receive First Prize, and another four teams are awarded Second Prize. In June, the students in these eight teams, together with their teachers and families, are brought to Washington, DC for the awards event (EVA Weekend).
On the day before the awards ceremony, the teams visit the offices of their local congressmen and senators and present their prizewinning reports.
On the morning of the awards ceremony, each team is interviewed by its local television station, appearing live on the morning news.
They have the opportunity to explain their projects to VIPs and the media.
Politicians and celebrities from the U.S. and Canada send congratulatory letters and videos.
The prizewinning students are congratulated by VIPs at the awards party.
Declared June 5, the day of the awards ceremony, to be ExploraVision Science and Technology Day.
Second-place winners in Grades K4-6 in 2014, elementary school children from Florida, was invited to the White House Science Fair and proposed their project.
1st Place Winners
GRADES K1-3 (Kindergarten to 3rd year elementary school)
Theme: S.T.A.R. Sea Turtle Assistance Rod
School:Waldron Mercy Academy - Merion Station, PA
When a mother sea turtle comes onto the beach at night to lay her eggs, she lays her eggs in a nest that she covers with sand for protection, and then she returns to the sea. Turtle hatchlings must find their way to the ocean., but they are often distracted by the bright lights from houses and hotels on the beach. This causes them to go in the wrong direction. Because of this and other challenges posed by predators, only one in one thousand hatchlings will survive to adulthood! Our S.T.A.R. technology of the future tackles this problem by using sea turtle “rescue packs” that will protect nests, maintain safe temperatures for turtle eggs and provide a guide for turtle hatchlings to reach the ocean safely. Night vision cameras, temperature and motion sensors, and solar cells will help to keep sea turtle hatchlings safe as they journey to the sea.
GRADES K4-6 (4th to 6th year elementary school students)
Theme: The Green Tablet
School: Pine View Middle School - Land O’Lakes, FL
In 20 years, people will use the GREEN Tablet, consisting of biodegradable inner electronic components, a sugar battery, and a reusable graphene shell. The GREEN Tablet will feature transient, more environmentally-efficient electronic components, reducing e-waste and protecting the environment. The transistors, conductors, and insulators will be made of a 35-nanometer-thick soluble circuit constructed of silicon, magnesium, and silk. The electronic components of the tablet will dissolve in ten days in less than 10 millimeters of water, creating harmless byproducts. The sugar battery consists of a series of enzymes that reduce starch to carbon dioxide as the final product, generating electricity. The GREEN Tablet is a better tablet for a better world.
GRADES K7-9 (1st to 3rd year junior high school)
Theme: Survival of the Freshest: Preservation of Organic Food
School: Marlboro Middle School - Marlboro, NJ
In order to more efficiently preserve organic food and detect food contamination, the PACS (Protection Against Contamination and Spoilage) wrap will incorporate four layers that utilize denaturation, biosensors, and electrochromism. This technology will be environmentally friendly, durable, and flexible due to the integration of two layers of nanocellulose, a fibrous substance made from biomass. The second layer will be treated with urea, a denaturant that will prevent food spoilage by destroying the structures of bacterial proteins seeking to enter. The third layer, made of polyaniline, will contain a biosensor chip, which can detect pathogenic bacteria in food and release an electrical charge. This will cause the polyaniline to change color due to its electrochromic properties, notifying consumers of the contamination. Thus, the PACS wrap will serve as an effective method of preserving organic food and detection.
GRADES K10-12 (1st to 3rd year high school)
Theme:Programmable Bio-Scaffolding: The Suture of the Future
School: West Salem High School - Salem, OR
People suffering from deep vein thrombosis, strokes, and diabetes all share the common fear of uncontrollable bleeding from open wounds as a result of taking blood thinning medicines. In the future, Programmable Bio-Scaffolding (PBS) system will eliminate this fear. PBS technology consists of DNA-coated hydrogel cubes, each containing a stem cell. The cubes represent pieces to a 3-D puzzle, sticking only to complementary cube. PBS technology will accelerate the process by precisely scaffolding wounds through binding edges of the cut together with premature stem cells. PBS technology will enter the user’s system intravenously or be applied externally to the wound. Patients could use PBS technology in concert with their blood thinning medication. By eliminating the fear of cuts and slow healing wounds, PBS technology is the suture of the future.
2nd Place Winners
GRADES K1-3 (1st year kindergarten to 3rd year elementary school)
School: Holmes Elementary - San Diego, CA
Go outside, no net required. Inside your SportaVision smart goggles, a virtual playing field appears. When you put on SportaVision, you see the nets or goals for football, soccer, or volleyball. The nets or goals are not really there, they just appear in your goggles using a heads-up display. Our invention is cool because SportaVision can be used anywhere sports are played. SportaVision memorizes any field after a simple setup using GPS technology. SportaVision is charged by radio waves. The base stations transform into a protective carrying case with storage space for the glasses. With a tiny transmitter inside the ball, SportaVision tracks the location of the ball using radio wave triangulation. SportaVision lets you know when the ball crosses the line or a point is scored because the lines or nets change colors. No more arguments! SportaVision score a set and you won't need a net.
GRADES K4-6 (4th to 6th year elementary school)
Theme: Clarité - A Better Cochlear Implant
School: Harford Day School - Bel air, MD
The cochlear implant is a device that assists people with profound hearing loss to gain some ability to hear. Nearly half a million people have received these implants to date. Early childhood is a critical time in the development of language and speech, and these devices can help children as young as twelve months. The current design is significantly limited, as it enables people to hear only high frequencies. Many sounds such as the human voice are often distorted, yielding a low-quality result. Currently, the implant is only inserted partially into the cochlea. Our new design will vastly improve the quality of sound for patients, enabling them to hear a wider range of frequencies. To make this possible, our design, using nano-technology and graphene, will be inserted into the cochlea through its entire length. The device will enable finer discrimination of frequencies and thus remarkably enhance sound quality.
GRADES K7-9 (1st to 3rd year junior high school)
Theme: Heat Utilizing Hearing Aids
School: Battle Creek Area Math & Science Center - Battle Creek, MI
Statistics show than an estimated 500 million people in the world experience hearing loss, and for approximately 360 million people of that 500 million, this loss is physically disabling. People wear hearing aids in order to combat this but the batters are not always reliable. This is where heat utilizing hearing aids come in, a product that recharges by converting body heat into an electric charge. It will still functioning as a normal hearing aid. Not only will our product help current users, but it will be able to reach people in all corners of the world, with or without access to electricity or the money to constantly replace batteries.
GRADES K10-12 (1st to 3rd year high school)
Theme: External Microbial Cleansing Device- EMCD
School: Northview High School - Duluth, GA
Current treatments for microbial pathogens and toxins in the bloodstream such as sepsis and AIDS include broad antibiotic therapies. They are ineffective because of increasing antibiotic resistance and the lack of nuanced treatment. An eternal microbial cleansing device (EMCD) functions with the aid of magnetic nanobeads attached to artificially engineered human opsonin-mannose-binding lectins (MBLs) that have the capability to capture a wide variety of pathogens in the bloodstream. The EMCD will quickly and efficiently remove bacteria, fungi, viruses, and toxins in the blood and enable therapy without the need to first identify the infectious agents. With the ability to deliver enriching nutrients, monitor blood, and develop medical reports, this revolutionary technology will drastically improve the outcome of numerous patients with pathogenic diseases.