Press release

Eight Student Teams Named National Winners of 27th Annual ExploraVision Competition

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Today, Toshiba and the NSTA announced eight national winners of the 27th
annual Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition, the world’s largest K-12
science competition. This year’s winners have gone above and beyond to
think critically and creatively about the biggest problems facing our
world, with ideas ranging from innovations in physical and mental
healthcare, to ideas that foster environmental sustainability and

The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition is designed to help students
develop the skills emphasized in the Next Generation Science
including problem-solving, critical-thinking and
collaboration skills. To participate, students must imagine and produce
a system or a technology with the potential to solve the problems of the
future. Regional finalists were asked to bring their ideas to life by
creating a website and producing short videos that demonstrate how the
prototype would work.

“For 27 years, we have been continually impressed by the creativity of
ExploraVision winners. This year’s national winners have embodied the
Toshiba essence, demonstrating a commitment to raising the quality of
life for people around the world by going above and beyond the limits of
modern-day science,” said Noriaki Hashimoto, Chairman & CEO, Toshiba
America, Inc. “By combining the power of invention with the desire for a
better world, this year’s winners have imagined solutions that, up until
now, have not existed – and they are one step closer to making them a

Since its inception in 1992, over 400,000 students from across the
United States and Canada have entered the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision

“We couldn’t be prouder of this year’s national winners. Their
dedication, collaborative spirit, innovative projects and desire to make
a difference in the world around them is commendable,” said Dr. David
Evans, NSTA executive director. “Thank you to all who participated in
this year’s ExploraVision program—the students, but equally as
important, the coaches, teachers, judges and reviewers—all of whom play
a vital role in fostering the spirit of discovery inherent in

Medical Innovations

A theme among this year’s winning teams’ projects was their focus on
innovations surrounding the detection and treatment of diseases.

A team of ninth graders from The Nueva High School in San Mateo, Calif.
developed “A Cure for Chronic Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Infection.” Their
invention is a one-use cure for HBV that contains a CRISPR-Cas9 cocktail
specific to the genes for HBx (an important protein coded by the HBV
genome) and NTCP (the receptor used by HBV to enter a patient’s liver
cell) using lipid nanoparticles targeted to the liver. Inhibiting HBx
and NTCP with CRISPR-Cas9 will eliminate the virus from infected liver
cells and cure patients with a single delivery.

Another team, made up of twelfth graders from Jericho High School in
Jericho, New York, designed the Cancer BAN-R: Blood and Nerve
Regeneration. The Cancer Blood and Nerve Regeneration (BAN-R) device is
a novel graphene patch which incorporates laser sensors, microneedles,
nanotechnology and growth hormones to provide noninvasive transdermal
delivery of specialized therapeutics, restoring nerve and tissue
function after chemoradiation.

The Common Good

Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children ages
one to four, the second cause of accidental death for children up to 14
and fifteenth overall for children. To stop any additional deaths from
occurring, a team of third graders from Saint Joseph School in Seattle,
Wash., created iSuit, an adaption of the traditional swimsuit that will
use artificial intelligence to release oxygen to inflate the suit and
use radio waves to send a message if conditions of distress are

Another team of fourth graders from Lee Elementary in Salem, Ore., seeks
to help societies across the globe combat noise pollution. Exposure to
continual noise can cause stress, poor concentration, hearing loss and
heart conditions. Recent research states that noise impacts children’s
learning. “RMF: Leaves Changing Shapes” (Relinquit Mutatio Figura) uses
liquid-elastomers (LCEs) and 4-D printing to create a leaf
shape-shifting system to absorbs sound waves. RMF also returns natural
environmental sounds into communities, ultimately absolving health risks
associated with noise pollution.

A team of eighth graders from the University of Illinois Laboratory High
School in Urbana, Ill., sought to address the continuous issues
motorists experience as a result of damaged road systems. According to
the U.S. Department of Transportation, each motorist spends $290 on
average on car repairs due to deteriorating roads each year, totaling
$410 billion per year. The team’s invention, “NewFerro Roads,” will
revolutionize road maintenance by using an advanced magnetic nanofluid,
Phase-Mag Fluid (PMF), which will allow roads to self-repair.

Sustainability of the Future

A major topic in this year’s projects was inventions that foster a
sustainable future. Higher-than-ever demand for natural resources such
as coal, oil and gas means that we are quickly running out of finite
sources of energy. Several of this year’s national winners sought to
lessen humanity’s annual demand for natural resources.

One team of sixth graders from Coulson Tough K-6 School in The
Woodlands, Texas, proposed Algatiles, an effective roofing alternative
that counters anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Another team of ninth through twelfth graders from Mission Vista High
School in Oceanside, Calif., engineered “M. Luteus” to lessen the
greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide. This method to reduce the
amount of these gases in the atmosphere by genetically modifying the
bacteria Micrococcus luteus strain ATCC 4698 is achieved by inserting
carboxysomes and soluble methane monooxygenase (sMMO) operons into its

Finally, a team of third graders from the University School of Nashville
in Nashville, Tenn., designed the APCD (Autonomous Pollution Control
Drone), which proposes the creation of an autonomous drone that combines
mechanical and biological processes to reduce pollution in the oceans.
The APCD will ultimately ensure that the oceans and seas will
effectively be able to regulate global weather and continue oxygen
production for years to come.

ExploraVision Prizes

The eight national winning teams are comprised of a first-place winner
and second-place winner from four groups based on grade level. Members
of first-place nationally winning teams each receive a $10,000 U.S.
Series EE Savings Bond (at maturity). Members of second-place nationally
winning teams will each receive a $5,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond (at
maturity). Canadian winners receive Canada bonds purchased for the
equivalent issue price in Canadian dollars. All first- and second-place
national winners will receive an expense-paid trip for themselves, their
parents/guardians, teachers and mentors to Washington, D.C. for an
awards weekend from June 5-7, 2019. 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 Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision weekend will culminate with an
awards ceremony where students will be formally recognized for their
creativity and accomplishments.

For 27 consecutive years, ExploraVision has helped children to expand
their imagination and have fun while developing an interest in science,
technology, engineering and math (STEM) education at an early age. To
learn more, visit

For more information or to access an application for the 2019/2020
program, visit
or email
Follow ExploraVision on Twitter at @ToshibaInnovate
or join the ExploraVision Facebook Fan Page at

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision 2019 National Winners

2019 First-Place Winners

Grade K-3: iSuit
Saint Joseph School, Seattle,

Grade 4-6: Algatiles
Coulson Tough K-6 School, The
Woodlands, Texas

Grade 7-9: Cure for Chronic Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Infection
Nueva High School, San Mateo, California

Grade 10-12: Engineering M. Luteus to Fix the Greenhouse Gases
Methane and Carbon Dioxide

Mission Vista High School,
Oceanside, California

2019 Second-Place Winners

Grade K-3: The APCD (Autonomous Pollution Control Drone)
School of Nashville, Nashville, Tennessee

Grade 4-6: RMF: Leaves Changing Shapes (Relinquit Mutatio Figura)
Elementary, Salem, Oregon

Grade 7-9: NewFerro Roads
University of Illinois
Laboratory High School, Urbana, Illinois

Grade 10-12: Cancer BAN-R: Blood and Nerve Regeneration
High School, Jericho, New York

About Toshiba

leads a global group of companies that combines
knowledge and capabilities from over 140 years of experience in a wide
range of businesses—from energy and social infrastructure to electronic
devices—with world-class capabilities in information processing, digital
and AI technologies. These distinctive strengths position Toshiba to
become one of the world’s leading cyber-physical-system technology
companies. Guided by the Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group,
“Committed to People, Committed to the Future,” Toshiba contributes to
society’s positive development with services and solutions that lead to
a better world. The Group and its 132,000 employees worldwide secured
annual sales surpassing 3.9 trillion yen (US$37.2 billion) in fiscal
year 2017.

About Toshiba
America, Inc.

Founded in 1965, Toshiba
America, Inc.
 (TAI) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Toshiba
Corporation and the holding company of six Toshiba operating companies
that offer a broad range of products and solutions for the residential,
commercial and industrial sectors. The seven companies, which along with
TAI are known collectively as Toshiba America Group, are Toshiba America
Electronic Components, Inc. (Semiconductor solutions), Toshiba America
Energy Systems, Corp. (Power generation solutions), Toshiba America
Information Systems, Inc. (Internet of Things and Solutions), Toshiba
America LNG Corporation (Liquefied Natural Gas), Toshiba International
Corporation (Industrial, power electronics & transmission & distribution
solutions) and Toshiba America Research, Inc.(R&D).

About NSTA

The Arlington, VA-based National
Science Teachers Association
is the largest professional
organization in the world promoting excellence in science teaching and
learning, preschool through college. NSTA’s membership includes
approximately 50,000 science teachers, science supervisors,
administrators, scientists, business representatives and others involved
in science education.