Huntington UFSD SEARCH program participants shined in this year’s Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision contest, which drew entries from K-12 students across the United States and Canada.
“The students worked in teams of two-to-four and were asked to come up with some sort of invention that will solve a real-world problems,” explained Huntington SEARCH teacher Jessica Risalvato. “They had to research what already exists in relation to that problem and either improve upon what they found or create something completely new.”
Huntington UFSD SEARCH teacher Jessica Risalvato.
The science competition is designed to “engage the next generation in real world problem solving with a strong emphasis on STEM,” according to a contest description. “ExploraVision challenges students to envision and communicate new technology 10 years in the future through collaborative brainstorming and research of current science and technology. Beyond engaging students in problem solving, team-based learning, critical thinking, and communication skills, ExploraVision aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards.”
Five teams of Huntington SEARCH students captured honorable mention recognition, which is no small achievement considering the number of participants and the high overall quality of the field.
Students had to develop a detailed description of their invention, what it looked like and how exactly it would work to solve the problem,” Ms. Risalvato said. “They also had to research the history behind the related technology, discuss their design process and what worked and didn’t work for their idea, discover what scientific breakthroughs are needed to make the idea a reality, and describe the pros and cons of their idea.”
Students worked on the project during class, but many teams also worked outside of class time, including at night and on weekends.
“While all groups worked very hard on this project, the five honorable mention teams certainly went above and beyond in their efforts to work together as a team to bring their vision to life,” Ms. Risalvato said. “They were very invested in the project and made sure their description and pictures were as detailed as possible.”
The Huntington UFSD honorees include:
Woodhull Intermediate School teams
• Bamboo Cotton Packaging: Hanna Boyle, Khloe Graham, Miranda Kincaid, Iliana Jarmolowski
• Drone Firefighter Helper: Lia Zivkovic, Juliet Johnson, Valerie Alfaro
Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School teams
• iCare: Grace Bartasi, Bella Duke, Janita Files
• Carbon Cars: Anderson Acosta Fuentes, Nick Bartasi, Hunter Pitney
• Targeted Memory Eraser: Timmy Tiliakos, Jack Steinberg
“Timmy and Jack from Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School are sixth graders who worked on the project independently as only my fifth grade students participate in the Toshiba project in class,” Ms. Risalvato said. “Timmy and Jack loved the experience last year and decided they wanted to do another project this year.”
Huntington UFSD officials were thrilled to have so many students recognized in this year’s contest. “Being chosen as an honorable mention project puts these projects in the top 10 percent of all submitted projects from across the country,” Director of STEM Teresa Grossane said.