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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 past and current 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 2015
  • 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 (32KB) and your essay, in two separate files, to tomodachi@nsta.org by May 4, 2015. 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 Essay Competition

High school teachers who are interested in participating will fill out your information on the TOMODACHI Toshiba Academy Form External Icon to receive the TOMODACHI Toshiba Science and Leadership Academy (TTA) update.

Teachers are requested to submit an essay and to briefly answer a few additional questions on the entry form (26KB) from November 19, 2014 to May 4, 2015. Science teachers are being asked to create experiences that help students understand complex environmental, social and economic issues. Additionally, the world community is struggling with the demands of an increasing population, changing population dynamics, aging infrastructure, increasing demand for finite resources and problems associated with global climate change.

In order to participate in the program, you will need to consider each of these problems. Please read the four writing prompts listed below and write an original essay of 400 to 1,000 words that discusses innovative solutions to one of these problems:

  1. Imagine that your community was devastated by a catastrophic storm (like Hurricanes Sandy or Katrina) 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 human populations worldwide and aging populations in developed nations are placing increased demands for energy, resources and food on the planet. How can we better prepare students for these changes and improve their ability to participate in a rapidly changing global environment?
  3. Describe a local action project that you have been personally involved in with your students that has improved the lives of people in your community. How could that project be expanded or replicated to have a more national or global effect?
  4. The education profession has experienced dramatic changes due to the increased use of computers and other communication devices in the classroom. How have you used these devices to improve your teaching and expand opportunities for your students?

Following your essay, please include a brief paragraph describing what appeals to you most about a week-long exchange experience in Japan. What do you think some of the challenges of this academy might be for you? How would you respond to these challenges?

Additional rules and requirements include:

  • One entry per teacher per year
  • The essay 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 2015
  • 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 (26KB) and your essay, in two separate files, to tomodachi@nsta.org by May 4, 2015. 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.

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When To Enter

Submissions will be accepted from November 19, 2014 to May 4, 2015. The eight winning students and four winning teachers will be announced by May 18, 2015.

 
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 18, 2015 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 essay using a rubric based on the following critera:
    • Language and Style
    • Usage and Mechanics Conventions
    • Focus of the Essay of the Question chosen
    • Speaking to the Audience
    • Cohesion
    • Arguing from Evidence
    • Innovation
  • Four teachers will be selected from all eligible entrants.
  • Winners will be notified by May 18, 2015 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 2015
  • 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
An expense paid trip to Japan including a Californian stop over for each student and teacher.

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