Bellevue, WA, May 4, 2021
Bellevue’s Open Window School fifth grade students Julia Stewart and Jacob Park have won the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision national prize in the grades 4-6 category.
The Toshiba/ NSTA ExploraVision competition is a project-learning based collaborative program which encourages innovation and real-world problem solving.
The winning team considered the issue of clean water as inspiration for innovative design. A description of the winning project as described by the team:
“Coagulation Filtration System (CFS) is a solar-powered, portable water filtration system designed to address the world's growing problems associated with contaminated drinking water. The CFS filters, coagulates, flocculates, and sediments water in a clean, efficient way. Through this system, wastewater is also acted on by Ideonella sakaiensis microbes which break down harmful microplastics, preventing them from re-entering aquatic ecosystems. All people should have access to clean, safe drinking water. The Coagulation Filtration System is designed to deliver on this belief.”
All Open Window fifth through seventh grade students participated in the 2021 NSTA/Toshiba ExploraVision Challenge this year, an opportunity discovered by middle school science teacher Andrew Mechling. “Finding experiences for students to think about science and STEAM as a way to discover and design forward-thinking solutions to real world problems stimulates student engagement and curiosity in an authentic way.” Andrew and fellow teacher Liesel Benecke served as guides to the winning team.
In addition to a national win, Open Window School also received six honorable mentions in fifth through seventh grades for projects ranging from cancer detection to sustainable refrigeration and transportation of mRNA vaccines to hydro turbines.