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K-12 Students Look Ahead to a Brighter Future!
[May 10, 2007]

K-12 Students Look Ahead to a Brighter Future!

ARLINGTON, Va. --(Business Wire)-- The Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision Awards Program, one of the world's largest K -12 science and technology competitions, today announced its first- and second-place national winners for 2007. (Full list of winners attached.) This year's winning student teams imagined amazing advancements in fields such as nanotechnology and polymer creation. They conceptualized future technologies ranging from innovative treatments for diabetes and kidney disease to a possible solution to the worldwide scarcity of drinkable water, a novel treatment for drug addiction, a potentially lifesaving fire extinguishing system, and an ingenious method for harnessing "wasted" energy from automobile use. There was even an idea for a special dental hygiene device that would brush all your teeth at once - and provide a song while doing it!

Exploring Science to Imagine Future Technological Breakthroughs

Now in its 15th year, the ExploraVision program, sponsored by Toshiba and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), challenges students to research scientific principles and current technologies as the basis for designing innovative technologies that could exist in 20 years. Students work in teams of two to four, and since the program's inception, more than 230,000 students have submitted entries. This year's top winners were selected from a group of 4,705 team entries, representing the participation of 14,681 students from the United States and Canada.


Technologies to Help People and the Environment...

Several of this year's ExploraVision students envisioned solutions to problems that face the world's population and environment. A team of 9th graders from Pennsylvania, for instance, won first prize in the 7-9 grade category for their project, "Passenger Tire Waste Heat Recovery System," a novel way to harness and utilize excess "waste" energy from the heat automobile tires create while rolling along the surface of a road. Heat from the tires would generate radiation from a nano quantum dot and be converted to electricity that would provide power for the vehicle, reduce the need for gasoline, and decrease atmospheric green house gases.

Three 8th grade students from St. Louis comprised the second-place winning team in the 7-9 grade category. Their project, "PureWater," could help save lives and solve one of the world's most pressing environmental problems--the scarcity of drinkable water--by providing individuals with a portable solution for removing contaminants from polluted water.

First place in the K-3 grade category went to a team of 2nd graders from San Diego who envisioned an alternative to conventional fire extinguishing systems that could help save lives while reducing property damage. "The Polymer Activated Life Saver System" would utilize compact polymer crystals to trap water and form a "blanket" that would smother fire and prevent water damage.

Medical Breakthroughs--Diabetes, Dialysis, Drug Addiction, and Oral Hygiene...

Several of this year's winning teams envisioned advancements in medical technologies, including two teams that tackled the problem of diabetes. Second place in the 10-12 grade category went to a team of students from Ohio who envisioned "Nano Mist," an advanced diabetes treatment that would apply anti-cancer technologies in a drug that continuously monitors and regulates glucose levels to improve the quality of life for diabetics. Dispensed from an inhalant once per month and time-released, receptors on nano-sized liposomes containing insulin particles bind with excess glucose in the blood and trigger the release of insulin from the liposome.

For their project, Diabetes Assistance and Prevention E-System (D.A.P.e.S.)," four 4th grade students from Texas won first prize in the 4-6 grade category. Their proposed technology could help prevent diabetes before it starts by helping children manage their intake of potentially dangerous foods. A nanosensor would be implanted in a tooth to analyze harmful food intake for adolescent diabetics. The sensor would continuously monitor and provide information such as sugar levels to a portable electronic system via wireless communication and warn or reward children according to their consumption patterns.

Three 12th graders from South Carolina won first place in the 10-12 grade category for an innovative new dialysis technology that could help people who have suffered loss of kidney function. Their project, titled the "SCNCM (Self Constructing Nano-Collector Molecules)" proposes a new dialysis system that would employ nanotechnology and use recycling self-assembling molecules to locate and clean impurities in the blood and deposit the foreign bodies into an artificial kidney before being eliminated into the urinary system.

Second place in the 4-6 grade category went to 6th grade students from Vancouver for their project, "Freedom From Drug Addiction (F.D.A.) Vaccine." Their proposed technology could help solve another of today's major public health problems--drug addiction. The students' vaccine would attach protein molecules to drug molecules and alert the body's immune system of the presence of foreign molecules and immunize it against the drug's addictive properties. The system helps the immune system to identify drug molecules that were previously undetectable due to their minute size.

Even brushing your teeth in the future could also be a little less of a chore, thanks to a "Sonic Brush Guard," which earned a team of 3rd grade students from Illinois the second place prize in the K-3 category. The custom-fit, motorized, mouth guard-shaped toothbrush would brush all of the user's teeth at once to provide advanced dental hygiene. The battery-operated Sonic Brush Guard also plays a song to signal when brushing is complete.

Students on the four first-place ExploraVision teams will each receive a $10,000 U.S. Series EE US Savings Bond. Students on second-place teams will each receive a $5,000 bond. (Canadian winners receive Canadian savings bonds purchased for the equivalent issue price in Canadian dollars.) The eight teams will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip with their families, mentor, and coach to Washington, D.C. for a gala awards weekend June 6-10, 2007. Activities will include a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress, a science showcase during which the students will display and demonstrate their winning ideas, and sightseeing. The highlight of ExploraVision weekend will be a gala awards banquet and ceremony where students will be formally recognized for their creativity and accomplishments.

For more information or an application for 2008, visit www.exploravision.org or e-mail exploravision@nsta.org.

About Toshiba

The Tokyo-based Toshiba Corporation, is a leading innovator and diversified manufacturer and marketer of advanced electronic and electrical products, spanning information and communications equipment and systems, Internet-based solutions and services, electronic components and materials, power systems, industrial and social infrastructure systems, and household appliances. Toshiba America, Inc., is the holding company for five Toshiba operating companies in the United States, including more than 10,000 employees in the U.S.

Toshiba's U.S.-based companies and some of their chief products are as follows: Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (Semiconductors, Flash Memory-Based Storage Solutions, LCD, and custom chips); Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (Laptop Computers, Projectors, and Hard Disk Drives, Telephony Products); Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc. (Copiers, Facsimiles, Printers); Toshiba International Corporation (Motors, Motor Controls, Power Electronics, Power Generation Equipment, Automation); Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. (Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance, X-ray and Ultrasound); Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C.(Flat Panel LCD TVs, High Definition DVD Players, and portable products); Toshiba America Foundation (Supports science and mathematics education across the United States) and Toshiba of Canada, Ltd. (Made up of four operating divisions).

About NSTA

The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes more than 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.

2007 EXPLORAVISION NATIONAL FINALISTS
2007 First Place Winners
Grades K-3
Adobe Bluffs Elementary, San Diego, CA
Polymer Activated Life Saver System
Saves lives while reducing property damage associated with
conventional fire extinguishing systems. Compact polymer crystals
trap water and expand to form a blanket that smothers fire and
prevents water damage to building interiors and furnishings while
providing for easier cleanup following a fire.
Grades 4-6
Discovery School, Edinburg, TX
Diabetes Assistance and Prevention e-System (D.A.P.e.S.)
Implants a nanosensor in a tooth to analyze harmful food intake for
adolescent diabetics. The nanosensor continuously monitors and
provides information such as sugar levels to a portable electronic
system via wireless communication and warns or rewards children
according to their consumption patterns.
Grades 7-9
Merion Mercy Academy, Merion Station, PA
Passenger Tire Waste Heat Recovery System
Employs nanotechnologies to recycle heat energy lost from automobile
tire deformation while an automobile is in motion. The heat from the
tires generates radiation from a nano quantum dot; nano photovoltaic
cells convert the radiation to electricity; and a super nano lattice
diverts the electricity to the car battery to provide power for the
vehicle, reduce the need for gasoline, and decrease atmospheric green
house gases.
Grades 10-12
Wando High School, Mt. Pleasant, SC
SCNCM (Self Constructing Nano-Collector Molecules)
Employs nanotechnology in the design of a dialysis system that uses
recycling self-assembling molecules to locate and clean impurities in
the blood and deposit the foreign bodies into an artificial kidney
before being eliminated into the urinary system. The resulting system
will be more efficient and less intrusive than conventional dialysis
techniques.
2007 Second Place Winners
Grades K-3
Marsh Elementary School, Rockford, IL
The Sonic Brush Guard
A custom-fit, motorized, mouth guard-shaped toothbrush that will brush
all of the user's teeth at once to provide advanced dental hygiene.
The battery-operated Sonic Brush Guard also plays a song to signal
when brushing is complete.
Grades 4-6
VAAD Academy, Vancouver, BC
The F.D.A. (Freedom from Drug Addiction) Vaccine
Attaches protein molecules to drug molecules and alerts the body's
immune system of the presence of foreign molecules and immunizes it
against the drug's addictive properties. The system helps the immune
system to identify drug molecules that were previously undetectable
due to their minute size.
Grades 7-9
John Burroughs School, St. Louis, MO
BisungiPani (Bangla), PureWater (English)
An efficient, low-cost individual water purifying tube that uses
virus-fighting polymers and molecular imprinting technologies to kill
pathogens and filter toxic metals such as arsenic in water to provide
safe drinking water in areas where millions of people suffer from
waterborne diseases and metal contamination. The PureWater drinking
tube has an environmentally-conscious design that can be recycled for
use as a structural base in the construction of homes.
Grades 10-12
Edison Academy, Westerville, OH
Nano Mist
Applies anti-cancer technologies in a drug that continuously monitors
and regulates glucose levels to improve the quality of life for
diabetics. Dispensed from an inhalant once per month and time-
released, receptors on nano-sized liposomes containing insulin
particles bind with excess glucose in the blood and trigger the
release of insulin from the liposome. 


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