Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision 2023 National Finalists

Bellevue’s Open Window School fifth grade students Julian Kotsis, Brody Cho, and Chase Carlson won the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision 2023 national prize in the grades 4-6 category for their PetConnect idea to help pet owners better understand their pets.
The Toshiba/ NSTA ExploraVision competition is a project-learning based collaborative program which encourages innovation and real-world problem solving.
A description of the winning project as described by the team:

“Pet shelters are currently dealing with a huge problem. They are overcrowded, and at many shelters, proper pet care is lacking. Shelter pets may have to deal with small, dirty living conditions, lack of food and water, and not enough proper vet care. Since there are so many pets in shelters, some won’t ever get adopted and they can get killed inhumanely. One of the main causes for animal shelter overpopulation is uneducated pet owners. Uneducated owners could send back or abandon their pet, due to not understanding them. ​ This is where our technology, PetConnect, comes in. PetConnect is an app that uses artificial intelligence to understand and translate behavior of cats and dogs. The A.I. will use Deep Learning to learn from its experience with each pet, making more and more accurate translations. With PetConnect, owners will understand their pets, making more pets have a happy and loving home.”

All Open Window fifth through sixth grade students participated in the 2023 NSTA/Toshiba ExploraVision Challenge this year. One student wrote about their experience: “I didn’t realize before that if I saw a problem, I could actually solve it. Before ExploraVision, I never knew how I could do this, but the process of ExploraVision opened it up for me. I became a lot more confident in what I can do. I didn’t appreciate working in groups sometimes, and it allowed me to see the potential there is when working with a team on something important. If you put your hard work and effort into an idea, you can create life-changing things!” This sentiment was shared by many students in various ways through reflection after the experience.

In addition to a national win, Open Window School also received seven honorable mentions in fifth and sixth grades for projects ranging from allergies wands to an ocean vacuum (see projects below).
Honorable Mentions:
  • Alzheimer’s SmartLenses
  • DPLS+ An Efficient Camera Sensor
  • Ozonator
  • The Agarian Wrapper
  • The Allergy Wand
  • The MEGA Filter: Filtering Co2 for a better world
  • The Ocean Vacuum
Congratulations to all student participants and to science teachers Andrew Mechling and Elliott Skopin.
Find out more about the winning project: ExploraVision National Winners | Science Competition Wins
Open Window School provides a challenging academic curriculum blended with nurturing support from teachers that prepares students for long-term success.