Toshiba Exploravision a STEM Competition for All Ages

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

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Toshiba Exploravision a STEM Competition for All Ages

Toshiba Exploravision is more than a science competition. Toshiba ExploraVision is a competition for students aged K-12, where they are able to solve real-world STEM problems to inspire. Toshiba Exploravision works to build collaboration, brainstorming, creativity and research skills among students on the topics of current science and technology, so they will become the future leaders in technology.

2 female students and a make student standing next to each other having a conversation about legacy admission

It’s the earlier the better when it comes to preparing to become a future leader, preparing for undergrad and even preparing for a career in STEM. STEM careers can be challenging, as can other Science and Math competitions, but you have the best chance if you start as early as you can, aka kindergarten, which Toshiba ExploraVision does.

Toshiba Exploravision allows students to work with their passion from kindergarten to the twelfth grade, it’s a competition that allows students to create their ideas combining creativity and STEM. Over 450,000 students from the United States and America have participated in Toshiba Exploravision.

Not only is Toshiba ExploraVision a way to make friends, gain leadership experience and work for hands-on, but it’s a way to figure out your career path, gain notoriety in the field and the potential to win prizes. When it comes to topics like getting a job, or undergraduate college admissions, having both ends of the spectrum and a combination of both art and science shows that you can go above and beyond, and Toshiba ExploraVision combines creativity and science and technology in a unique program.

To learn more about the specifics of Toshiba ExploraVision, eligibility, what a project consists of and for more benefits to participating, continue reading.

NSTA and Toshiba ExploraVision

Toshiba ExploraVision began in 1992, created by the National Science Teachers Association. The National Science Teachers Association is an organization aimed at promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning. The NSTA was founded in 1944 in Arlington, Virginia, NSTA’s current membership of 60,000 includes science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in and committed to science education

Toshiba is a technology company that was founded with a strong goal of technological innovation which pairs with their passion for education in science. Toshiba works with the National Science Teachers Association to contribute to education in science with the ExploraVision competition. Students who participate better understand science and the core ideas as well as engagement in the other STEM sections, all while solving real-world problems and using their imagination. ExploraVision proves to be one of the largest science competitions for students K-12 and goes along Toshiba’s efforts to engage and inspire youth in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.


A teacher works with students in groups of 2 to 4 to mirror real research and development of a STEM problem. The group of students will pick a current technology, research it, and imagine what it might look like in 20 years. From there, students describe the development steps to get there, the good and bad to the development and the issues along the way. Past winners have envisioned incredible new technologies, check them out here.

a female student being coached by her female teacher

ExploraVision is designed for any student, K through 12 no matter their interest in STEM, level, ability, etc. The competition is open to students in all schools,  public, private, or home school in the United States and Canada.

Why Should you Participate in ExploraVision?

It’s important to take full advantage of any opportunity your school offers, or opportunities in general, it proves initiative, and taking advantage especially proves leadership. Even if your school doesn’t have a program, it’s easy to start as long as you have a staff member/mentor involved, and even if you don’t know if you want to focus on STEM, the program is fun!

Students working on a project.

Extracurriculars can be hard to navigate, are you interested in art but should you be well rounded and try STEM?  Do you need more leadership experiences? If you are asking these questions and not sure if you want to try ExploraVision or other extracurriculars, we can help at AdmissionSight with Extracurricular Planning, where we help you plan out your steps and answer those questions.

ExploraVision is a very practical and problem-solving based competition, there are a lot of other STEM competitions, programs, etc, but ExploraVision is unique because of its small teams and freedom of ideas. If you are passionate about problem-solving in any way or you want a leg up in ExploraVision (or life),  The Art of Problem Solving is a resource that offers problem-solving resources on your own time. Starting for students in elementary school, it helps to stimulate both your creative and STEM thinking.

Project Development Steps

ExploraVision aims to raise the next generation of real-world problem solvers and those in STEM. ExploraVision gives students a risk-free opportunity to put their creativity to the test while solving actual problems and building teammates. This is how to start a project.

Online Registration and Team Assignment.

Teachers/mentors etc. can register here as a coach and each team. A coach can submit as many team projects, there are incentives for teachers as well.

Time to Brainstorm

Here is a resource of past projects to get inspired. A way to begin is to list technologies that are of interest, then form teams based on interest/brainstorming, etc, and teams should get a deadline to choose a topic. Use this form for brainstorming.


Now is time to learn about research methods, using research sources, and creating a bibliography. (The opportunity to learn about research at such a young age is incredibly beneficial for the future and can prepare students). Share various sources that can be used, magazines, internet, and books. After students can research, the team should choose a subject.

(Although you cannot enter this project into other competitions if you have an interest in research, there are various research competitions that you can benefit from, win awards for, and learn about)

Understanding Technology and Change

This is the opportunity for students to gain some public speaking experience in front of their teams and class, as they present examples about various technologies and how they can change.. Students will analyze the consequences of their future technologies and what is necessary to achieve the change.

Test it and Create the Entry!

Students create the project entries and draw up plans, and images for the future technology idea for their sample Web pages. Check the Parts of a Project section for all parts of the entry.


Parts of a Project

Each project has to include an abstract, description, bibliography, and five sample Web pages. Check out the full description here, and be sure to thoroughly follow the rules because submissions can be disqualified.

Abstract (maximum 150 words) The abstract summarizes the future technology idea created by the team.

Description (maximum 11 pages) The description section can combine text and artwork/drawings/graphs etc.. It has to include these sections in this order:

  • Present Technology: The problem with the current technology that you are proposing a new idea.
  • History: The history of the technology.
  • Future Technology: The team’s idea for what this technology would be in 20 years.
  • Breakthroughs: The path to the updated technology and why it isn’t already developed.
  • Design Process: The process of getting to this specific idea
  • Consequences: Pros and cons of updated technology


Sample Web Pages: Five sample web pages that present their future technology vision. Web pages can be hand-drawn or done on the computer, one must be a visual prototype or mode

To view Sample Project, visit here.

Requirements, Eligibility, and Rules


  • Participants must be citizens of the United States or Canadian enrolled full-time in a public, private, or homeschool
  • The age limit is 21 years of age
  • National Science Teachers Association employees, board members, judges, and their families are not eligible to enter the competition
  • If a project has won it may not be re-submitted in other years, if a student has been selected as a finalist, they can only compete next time in a new team without students who have also been finalists
  • Any project was awarded a prize in another competition cannot be submitted
  • There are no individual entries (to find other competitions that allow individual entries, check out the science and math, research and humanities competitions, some of which allow individual entries, other teams, etc.)


Students can only submit one project per year but teachers or mentors can be involved in more than one project each year. Projects require:

  • Entered online
  • Contain an abstract which is maximum of 150 words
  • Contain a project description maximum 11 pages maximum
  • Include a Bibliography
  • Five sample web pages (template here)


  • Websites have to be viewed within five minutes
  • The website must have at least one original video of one to two minutes
  • The site relates to the original project description
  • All team members must play a role in the creation of the website
  • The website design must have a prototype of the future technology idea, displayed in drawings, photographs or videos: This does not have to be a working device

Four Categories of Judging

  • Primary Level: Grades Kindergarten through 3
  • Upper Elementary Level: Grades 4 through 6
  • Middle Level: Grades 7 through 9
  • High School Level: Grades 10 through 12

To prepare for Toshiba ExploraVision or other competitions, or higher-level science classes before high school, check out the Pre-High School Consultation we offer at AdmissionSight.


For Students:

Each participant and team coach or mentor who submits a completed project receives a participation certificate and gift.

First: 4 teams win first place, each student wins a savings bond worth $10,000 at maturity

Second: 4 teams win second place, each student wins a savings bond worth $5,000 at maturity

National Finalists: 8 teams are finalists and get a paid trip to Washington, DC for the ExploraVision Awards Weekend (plus one parent/legal guardian per student)

Regional Winners: 24 teams are regional winners and get a science or technology style gift and an awards ceremony at their school, with a winner’s banner, plaque, and other gifts.

Honorable Mention: 500 teams are honorable mentions and receive a unique prize and certificate per student.

Schools with Regional Winners: Receive technology or science gifts

Teachers also win prizes, learn more about those prizes, and the rest here.

There are a lot of prizes and rewards that can come from competing or even submitting in the Toshiba ExploraVision competition. Whether that includes meeting someone through the competition who becomes a mentor, building friendships through your team, or having the experience for your interview with a college counselor (for interview preparation help, visit here) being a part of a competition like Toshiba ExploraVision can open up doors you didn’t know there were. Do remember, if interested in a STEM degree, college admissions find it imperative to compete in science and math competitions like this one at the regional and national levels.


It’s important to know what judges are looking for before submitting a project, there are two judging levels, regional and national. Each is composed of various NSTA members and PhD scientists, a really great way to get your ideas seen. It’s important to check back through past winners to ensure projects aren’t too similar, judges give higher scores to more original projects, judges will also not see school, teacher or team names.

two neuroscientists analyzing a brain scan projected through the computer screen

Regional judges are made up of 50 NSTA’s district judges and 12 PhD scientists from NASA, NIH, NSF, FDA. This is a rubric of points for parts of the project and the maximum points:

  • Present technology (10 points)
  • History (10 points)
  • Future technology (20 points)
  • Breakthroughs (15 points)
  • Design process (10 points)
  • Consequences (10 points)
  • Bibliography (5 points)
  • Sample Web pages (20 points)

Projects are judged on creativity, scientific accuracy, communication, and feasibility of vision. Look at previous regional winners here.

National judges consist of  Ph.D./Ph.D/M.D. scientists from NASA, NIH, NSF, FDA, who are specialists in the area of specialty of the regional winning students’ project Since this is the next step in the process, teams who reach this state will use their original projects as a guide and create websites for the idea and they will create a prototype. Look at previous national winners here.

Teams will get:

  • A Toshiba notebook computer and Web design software
  • Instructions for the beginning computer user with no experience in website design

Websites will be judged on creativity, originality, and the substance of the promotional message,  not on the high quality of the website. Primary and Upper Elementary Level teams are allowed more help from their advisors for their websites.

Toshiba ExploraVision is a great way to learn about technology, dive deeper into STEM and the opportunities that arise from learning about science, technology, engineering, and math, as well as there, are so many personal benefits from partaking in a competition like ExploraVision, friendship, mentorship, and prizes! If you are interested in competing in ExploraVision, you want to prepare or you’re not sure where to start, contact us, we may be able to guide you at AdmissionSight.

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