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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans

"The Vision" Contest

Project URL:

How it works:
The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition motivates students to develop higher-order thinking skills--by encouraging them to think about their role in the future and to use their imaginations and creativity while applying their knowledge of science. It is an excellent way for students to learn how to work in collaborative learning groups on an interdisciplinary project. ExploraVision and other competitions can help all students become interested in science and technology as they apply to everyday life. Participating in a competition gives all students the opportunity to be recognized for their good ideas and to win prizes. Everyone who enters is a winner! 

Students work collaboratively to study a current technology and, using scientific principles, predict what that technology will be like 30 years from now. They research the technology's origins, how it presently works, and what it might entail in the future, as well as its effects on society and what breakthroughs need to occur to make their future technology a reality.

Standards addressed:  
Students identify problems and implement and evaluate a design. They read and comprehend informational materials, produce written or oral works that restate or summarize information; participate constructively in group meetings; prepare and deliver a presentation; describe and analyze the effects of changing technologies on the global community; demonstrate knowledge of current changes in information technologies; use content-specific tools, software, and simulations (e.g. Web tools) to support learning and research; collaborate with peers, experts, and others using telecommunications and collaborative tools; and select and use appropriate tools and technology resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and solve problems.

Materials used
"The Vision" Contest requires a computer with Internet access,  books, encyclopedias, videos, periodicals, catalogs, and probably experts in the field. It also requires PowerPoint and spreadsheet software, and a computer projection device.

The students:
This program is suitable for students from kindergarten though twelfth grade. ExploraVision is not just for high achievers. Many successful inventors had difficulties in school or were average students. 

Overall value:
The best description of this program's features is from another participating teacher, Diana Celle of Holmes Elementary School in San Diego, California, who says "The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards program is a hands-on/minds-on project.  It is what science is all about.  It permits students to think of themselves as investigators. They learn new ways to approach problems and learn how to make connections to their existing knowledge base. They visualize and invent in reference to what is known. And, most importantly, they learn how to think and work as a team."

Toshiba provides much help and has their own link to a "tips for teachers" page at: http://toshiba.com/tai/exploravision/teachersonly.html
There are tons of past winners and information at:


About the teacher:
Anthony Salcedo is laptop coordinator at the Mott Hall School, the first inner city public school to start a laptop program. He was a keynote speaker at the Microsoft Laptop Summit 2000, has presented at other technology conferences around the country, and has received recognition from two superintendents for his achievements. Anthony is also a certified NFTE instructor and has worked as a translator in the Caribbean for a division of the United Nations. He has
worked as an adjunct professor for NYU and Mercy College and is in his tenth year of teaching in the New York City public school system.


Subject Areas: 

Grade Levels: 



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