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The TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy is an annual one-week, cross-cultural Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) exchange and leadership program for 16 high school students and eight teachers from Japan and the U.S. In August, program participants from both countries will work together in Tokyo to develop a disaster-resilient, smart community of the future. With counsel from Toshiba engineers and a visit to the Toshiba Smart Community building, the students and teachers will work in teams to develop proposed solutions to these problems using learning experiences that are central to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the engineering design process.

The academy links the TOMODACHI Initiative's roots in disaster recovery to Toshiba's founding commitment to technological innovation, and passion for science and technology education. It is part of Toshiba's support for the TOMODACHI initiative, a public-private partnership, born out of support for Japan's recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, that invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as leadership programs. The program is designed to foster closer ties between U.S. and Japanese teachers and students, to nurture a strong sense of STEM literacy, and to inspire the use of science and technology to address some of the world's most complex issues in the future. Their Japanese counterparts will be separately selected from high school students and teachers who promote strong achievements in science and mathematics education and international student exchanges.

Find out more on how to join the academy next summer, please click below;

Who is eligible?

Students

Students entering the TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy must be:

  • In grades 8-11
  • Currently enrolled in and attending a public, private, or home school in the United States
  • A Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision participant

 

Teachers
Teacher participants in the Toshiba TOMODACHI Leadership Academy must have all of the following requirements:

  • Current NSTA members
  • High school science teachers who currently teach at a public, private or home school in the United States (grades 9-12)
 
How to Enter
Student Essay Competition

The world is experiencing many serious environmental and climate issues. Additionally, communities are struggling with the demands of an increasing population, aging infrastructure, increasing demand for finite resources and problems associated with global climate change. To join the TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy, students are required to complete the application process and write an original essay of 400 to 1,000 words that discusses innovative solutions to one of the essay prompts listed below:

  1. Imagine that your community was devastated by a catastrophic storm (like Hurricane Sandy) and you were asked to participate in the redesign of the new community that will be built in its place. What ideas would you suggest to make it a more resilient and vital community in the future?
  2. Growing populations and the increase in technology and transportation have created greater demands for energy. Describe the steps you might implement to increase the amount of energy available, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Describe a local action project that you have been personally involved in that has improved the lives of people in your community. How could that project be expanded or replicated to have a more global effect?
  4. Growing populations produce increased traffic, pollution and congestion especially in large urban areas. How could we build communities in the future that address these crowding issues while creating more healthy and livable conditions for all?

Cultural experience - Please include a brief description about what appeals to you most about a week-long exchange experience in Japan and what you think some of the challenges, other than language, might be. How would you deal with such challenges?

Additional rules and requirements include:

  • One entry per student per year
  • The essay must be the original work of the student submitting the entry and must credit any outside sources
  • Each student must submit a completed entry form with his/her signature attesting to the originality of the work submitted, and their availability to participate in the Japan trip in early August 2014
  • Selected students will be required to actively participate in all scheduled student program components during the Japan trip

 

A panel of expert judges will judge each entry based on how well the student addressed one of the four issues above in their essay and the level of innovation in the student's approach.

Please email the entry form and your essay, in two separate files, to tomodachi@nsta.org by May 9, 2014. One file should contain the entry form only. The other file is your essay, as either a Word document or a PDF. Do not include your name or any identifier in your essay file. Total combined file size should be less than 5MB.

Teacher Hands-On Lesson Plan Competition

High school teachers who wish to participate will apply individually and develop a hands-on activity. Teachers will include a brief (5-min max) video link that show them teaching the activity to their students and a written lesson plan (Word File or PDF, 5MB max size in 12pt font) with their applications. The activity must enhance understanding of scientific/engineering practices, the disciplinary core ideas, and the cross-cutting concepts espoused in the Next Generation Science Standards. The activity must focus on one of the following topics related to smart communities:

  1. Rebuilding and re-imagining of a community after a natural disaster
  2. Methods or ideas designed to meet increasing energy demands
  3. Solutions to rising carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gas) emissions
  4. Solutions to population growth issues especially those related to increased population in urban areas worldwide.

 

The teacher activity must include the following:

  • Name of activity
  • Rationale/Purpose and expected outcomes
  • Materials required
  • Step-by-step procedures including timing and sequencing of the activity
  • Students must be able to complete activity within two hours, reserving at least 20 minutes at the end of the two hour period for students to present their solutions to the group.
  • Clearly show link with NGSS
  • Activity requested to include an instructional model such as the 5E. The 5E's represent five stages of a sequence for teaching and learning: Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend and Evaluate. The 5E learning cycle model is widely used and accepted throughout the United States.


The winning activities may be included as scheduled activities during the Japan trip.

Additional rules and requirements include:

  • One entry per teacher per year
  • The activity must be the original work of the teacher submitting the entry and must credit any outside sources
  • Each teacher must submit a completed entry form with his/her signature attesting to the originality of the work submitted, and their availability to participate in the Japan trip in early August 2014
  • Selected teachers will be required to actively participate in all scheduled student program components during the Japan trip to include guiding, facilitating, and monitoring student's work

 

Please email the entry form and your essay, in two separate files, to tomodachi@nsta.org by May 9, 2014. One file should contain the entry form only. The other file is your essay, as either a Word document or a PDF. Do not include your name or any identifier in your essay file. Total combined file size should be less than 5MB. Be sure to include the URL of your video in your essay file as well as on the entry form.

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When To Enter

Submissions will be accepted from March 15, 2014 to May 9, 2014. The eight winning students and four winning teachers will be announced by May 23, 2014.

 
What are Judging Criteria and Awards?

Students

  • Students will be judged in two grade groups (8-9 and 10-11)
  • A panel of expert judges will judge each entry based on how well the student addressed one of the four issues and the level of innovation in the student's approach.
  • Eight students will be selected from all eligible entrants, with four selected from grades 8-9 and four from grades 10-11
  • Winners will be notified by May 23, 2014 and will be required to complete and submit paperwork (signed by parents/guardians) confirming their participation in an expense paid trip to Japan and their availability to travel to Japan in early August
  • Two alternates will be chosen from each grade level group (8-9 and 10-11) in the event one or more students are unable to travel to Japan


Teachers

  • A panel of expert judges will judge each entry based on how well the teacher presented his/her lesson about one of the related issues or topics to his/her students and the level of innovation in the hands on activity while referencing the Engineering Design Process and/or NGSS.
  • Four teachers will be selected from all eligible entrants.
  • Winners will be notified by May 23, 2014 and will be required to complete and submit paperwork confirming their participation in an expense paid trip to Japan and their availability to travel to Japan in early August 2014
  • Two alternates high school teachers will be chosen in the event one or more teachers are unable to travel to Japan

 

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Prize
A Toshiba Excite™ tablet and an expense paid trip to Japan including a Southern Californian stop over for each student and teacher.

Questions and Useful Links
Any questions? Please email to tomodachi@nsta.org