• April 10, 2019

    8th grade team named regional winner of ExploraVision competition

    Twenty-four winning teams recognized for innovative solutions to the world’s challenges

    ExlporaVision team A team from Fort Couch Middle School was selected as one of 24 regional winners and one of only six in the grades 7-9 category of the 27th annual ExploraVision program, the largest K-12 science competition designed to build problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills.

    Eighth graders Carter McClintock-Comeaux, Daniel Wang and Peer Khan proposed a breakthrough project – Coronary Artery Disease Prevention System (C.A.D.P.S.) – that would treat and/or prevent coronary artery disease through the use of nanobots.

    “It is amazing to be one of only six regional winners in the country. I am very proud of our students,” Jason O’Roark, gifted education teacher, said. “The students were surprised to find that a lot of the technologies that make their idea possible exist today.”

    According to the team’s project paper, “Coronary artery disease kills hundreds of thousands of people every year. We researched nanotechnology to determine the best way to clean out arteries and prevent coronary artery disease. This led to the development of Coronary Artery Disease Prevention System, or C.A.D.P.S., a small 50 nanometer robot that is injected into the patient’s blood stream to remove arterial plaque. Surgeons use an enhanced 3D image scanner to map out the path C.A.D.P.S will travel through the patient’s body. These nanobots will scrape the plaque off of the cell walls using mechanical arms and carry it through the body. They are powered by electrodes mounted on the nanobots that chemically react with the electrolytes in the patient’s blood. Surgeons are able to communicate with the nanobots via transducers that send ultrasonic signals to assure all of the plaque is removed and the patient’s arteries are clean.”

    The Fort Couch team now advances to the national phase of the competition, where participants will have a chance to win $10,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bonds (at maturity) and other prizes. The 24 regional winners have received a Toshiba laptop for their school, and each member of the team will receive a Toshiba Canvio® Hard Drive.

    “For the 27th year, young people across the country have gone above and beyond to think critically and creatively about the biggest problems facing our world,” Noriaki Hashimoto, chairman and CEO, Toshiba America, Inc., said. “We applaud their ideas for smart solutions that improve and enhance infrastructure using AI and other cutting-edge technologies. From climate change, to life-threatening illnesses, grand problems require grand ideas and this year’s regional winners have risen to the challenge.”

    ExploraVision participants were challenged to consider the future and imagine a technology that might exist 20 years from now and that might solve a problem of that future era. Using real scientific research, students outlined methods to plan and test their ideas. In the next phase of the competition, the winning regional teams will be asked to build webpages and short videos to communicate and exhibit their ideas to the public.  

    “These regional winners use entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and the principles of science to be forces for good.” Dr. David Evans, NSTA executive director, said. “We congratulate all of the regional winner teams and their coaches, who exemplify the curiosity, tenacity and appetite for discovery engrained in the core of the ExploraVision program.”

    In the next phase of the competition, the 24 regional winners, including the Fort Couch Middle School team, will advance to the national level. Members of first place national-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). 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 in early June 2019. Students who travel to Washington will meet with members of congress during a visit to Capitol Hill and display their winning ideas during a Science Showcase. The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision weekend concludes with an awards banquet and ceremony, where winners will be formally recognized for their creativity and accomplishments.  

    Since its inception in 1992, more than 400,000 students from across the United States and Canada have participated in the ExploraVision program. For 27 consecutive years, the program 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 https://www.exploravision.org/.

    For more information, visit www.exploravision.org or email exploravision@nsta.org. Follow ExploraVision on Twitter at @ToshibaInnovate or join the ExploraVision Facebook Fan Page at www.Facebook.com/ToshibaInnovation.