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/ExploraVision) - How cool would it be to show off your idea for some innovative technology that could exist 20 years from now?
Well, students in grades K-12 now have that chance. Even as some worry we've fallen behind other countries in producing graduates in the critical STEM fields -- science, technology, engineering and math -- the 21st annual Toshiba ExploraVision
science competition is back to inspire young people to help change the world.
"It's especially gratifying how many past winners have said they learned to appreciate innovation, creativity and critical thinking," says Masaaki Osumi, chairman and CEO of Toshiba America, Inc. Toshiba sponsors the event, which is administered by the National Science Teachers Association.
And the past winners were hardly slouches -- as witnessed by last year's idea for a filtration system using "nanotubes" to separate dangerous radium from water.
Entrants, who'll be vying by grade level for prizes including $10,000 (at maturity) in savings bonds -- teachers can win a Toshiba tablet -- needn't create an actual prototype. The January 31, 2013, deadline requires supporting data demonstrating the project's need and feasibility. Rules and entry details are at www.exploravision.org