Westminster High School is pleased to announce a team from our MERITS program was selected as one of the regional winners of the 30th annual ExploraVision challenge, the largest K-12 science competition designed to build problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills. The WHS Queen Bees’ project titled Genetically Engineering A Neonicotinoid-Degrading Microbiome Bacteria Using CRISPR Technology to Create a Probiotic that Combats Bee Mortality will advance to the national phase of the competition, where participants will have a chance to win $10,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bonds (at maturity) and other great prizes. Members of the 23 winning teams have each received a Chromebook to support the development of virtual posters, websites, and videos for the national phase of the competition.
Principal Amy Sabol of Westminster High School notes that “The students within the MERITS program continue to excel in the area of STEM education. A culture of pride has been established within this program and the bar has been set extremely high. Even throughout the pandemic, our MERITS students never stopped taking on challenges to push themselves academically and as a result, they rank amongst the top in the County, State and Nationally.
ExploraVision participants were challenged to come up with potential solutions to solve problems that may exist in ten years or more. Ryuji Maruyama, Chairman and CEO, Toshiba America, Inc, comments, “We applaud our winners and all our entrants for their resilience as well as their ideas for new technologies and smart solutions that improve and enhance our lives and communities.”
Using real scientific research, students outlined methods to plan and test their ideas. In the next phase of competition, the winning regional teams will be asked to build webpages and short videos to communicate and exhibit their ideas to the public.
“The level of creativity and dedication these students have shown through their projects is truly amazing. Their imaginative ideas are shining examples of the innovation teachers of science try to foster every day in science classrooms, museums and zoos nationwide,” said Eric Pyle, NSTA President. “We congratulate the ExploraVision regional winners on what they’ve achieved so far and applaud all of the team coaches for engaging and inspiring their students to make a real difference in the world that they will inherit.”
For more information, visit www.exploravision.org