Teen Filmmakers Address Driver Safety!

Toyota and Discovery Education Announce Finalists in Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge


Public Can Vote Online for People’s Choice Winner until April 18.

In Schools, Virtual Field Trip on the Engineering Behind Safety Takes Place April 20.



Silver Spring, MD (April 6, 2017) –  Teen filmmakers are pointing their lens at driver safety, and making a difference.  Today, Toyota and Discovery Education announced the ten finalists of the Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge. Now in its sixth year, the Challenge invites teens to create short videos to inspire their peers to drive more safely and avoid risky behavior.  The public is invited to watch the ten finalists’ videos —chosen from nearly 1,500 submissions — at TeenDrive365InSchool.com/vote and vote through April 18, 2017 for the People’s Choice winner, who will receive a $5,000 prize and a behind-the-scenes trip to a taping of a Velocity network show.


The Challenge is part of the comprehensive TeenDrive365: In School initiative, which offers a range of tools for high school educators and teens, including an upcoming virtual field trip on “The Engineering behind Safety” on April 20.  Students can meet the Toyota engineers, scientists and technicians who envision the future of driver safety and then use science, technology and innovation to make it a reality.

“We are always ‘wowed’ by the unique perspective that the young filmmakers bring to the Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge year-after-year, and they’ve done it once again,” said Mike Goss, General Manager, Toyota Social Innovation. “This year’s finalists impressed us with their ingenuity and it’s clear that they believe that driver safety is an important issue for their peers. We wholeheartedly agree with them and are excited to also offer the Virtual Field Trip to expand on these important safety messages.”

TeenDrive365 Video Challenge Prizes


In addition to the People’s Choice winner, several other prize winners will be chosen by a panel of judges representing Toyota and Discovery Education. The first place winner will receive $15,000 and will work with a Discovery film crew to transform their video into a TV-ready PSA to air on a variety of Discovery networks.


Other prizes include:


  • Second place prize – $10,000 scholarship and a behind-the-scenes trip to a Velocity network show taping
  • Third place prize – $7,500 scholarship
  • Fourth to tenth place prizes – Each receives $2,500 scholarship
  • Four regional prizes – Each receives $1,000 scholarship


Last year’s grand prize went to Matthew P. and John C. of Olney, MD. Their video featured two young scientists who compare cars to beluga whales and suggests we would all drive more responsibly if we treated the other cars on the road as if they were animals who carry people, not just machines. The re-created PSA ran across Discovery’s family of networks and can be viewed at teendrive365inschool.com.

“Peer-to-peer messaging is a powerful tool to engage young people in driver safety conversations,” said Lori McFarling, Senior Vice President, DiscoveryEducation.  “With traditional drivers’ education programs leaving the classroom, it’s never been more important to create digital learning environments that support students as they navigate life behind the wheel. We are proud to partner with Toyota in this effort to amplify, empower and celebrate driver safety messages in school.”

TeenDrive365: In School Virtual Field Trip

Complementing the challenge, educators will be able to take their students behind-the-scenes of Toyota Motor North America Research and Development HQ in Michigan on Tuesday, April 20 at 1pm ET/12PM CT, to learn about the engineering behind safety.  At this Toyota hub of design, research and development, get insight into how real world challenges that drivers face every day are being tackled with new design features to help enhance driver safety.

Students will get a behind the scenes look at:

  • The Electromagnetic Compatibility Chamber
  • Crash Test Dummy Lab
  • Crash Test Track
  • Toyota Safety Systems


In this 40-minute experience geared towards grades 9-12, students learn how the highly-skilled professionals in advanced manufacturing processes and systems identify problems, create solutions, think critically, and apply new technologies and skills.  They’ll see how advanced technology is used to help improve the quality and safety of automobiles today, and learn more about the physics principles that are involved in conducting crash tests. Register in advance here.


“The announcement of the TeenDrive365: In School initiative challenge finalists and the upcoming virtual field trip provided me a great reason to begin a discussion about driver safety with my students,” said Rob Lamb, Chemistry Teacher at Pattonville High School, Pattonville School District, Bel Nor, MO. “It’s wonderful to have classroom resources that can be a catalyst for a discussion as important as driver safety.”

Other TeenDrive365: In School resources that help teens prepare for the responsibility of driving, include quizzes, parental discussion points, and a financial calculator to help teens assess the costs of driving; classroom resources for educators, including standards-aligned lesson plans; and Heads UP!, an interactive simulation which allows teens to virtually experience real dangers of distracted driving.


# # #



About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE:TM), creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to advancing mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. Over the past 60 years, we’ve produced more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 44,000 people (more than 34,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold almost 2.6 million cars and trucks (2.45 million in the U.S.) in 2016 – and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.

Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support non-profits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more places. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.


About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.



Library Strand of Future Ready ‘Institutes’ Developed, Funded Exclusively through Follett’s Project Connect

Eight Free Regional Institutes to Provide Valuable Professional Development, Networking Opportunities for Educators Looking to Personalize Learning for Students


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 6, 2017Future Ready Schools® (FRS) this week announced a series of free regional events to support educators planning to implement personalized learning strategies for their students. This student-centered approach tailors instruction to students’ unique strengths and needs while engaging them in challenging, standards-based academic content.

The eight “institutes” – beginning July 13 in Denver and ending Nov. 30 in Detroit – include personal professional development opportunities for district leaders, IT directors, principals, librarians and media specialists, as well as teacher leaders and instructional coaches.

The institutes are generously supported by four education partners, including Follett, which initially announced its support in December 2015 of FRS, an initiative developed by the U.S. Department of Education. Follett is supporting FRS on behalf of Project Connect’s work to bring librarians into the Future Ready Schools program. Project Connect is a national initiative to advocate for school libraries and elevate the role of the librarian in K-12 schools.

The librarian strand of the FRS Institutes will be created and facilitated by Mark Ray and Shannon McClintock Miller. Ray is director of innovation and library services for Vancouver (Wash.) Public Schools and a past Washington State Teacher of the Year, while Miller is a highly recognized and respected K-12 library leader who previously was a district teacher librarian in Iowa and is author of the blog, The Library Voice.Both Ray and Miller are spokespersons for Project Connect and Future Ready Librarians.

Librarian attendance will be sponsored by Follett as well. Each FRS institute will launch ongoing regional networks of enthusiastic implementation experts who will act as mentors to support and host follow-up activities to ensure districts have the resources needed to create customized, actionable personalized learning plans.

“Follett is committed to the continued support of the Future Ready Libraries initiative because we believe librarians are critical to Future Ready Schools,” said Nader Qaimari, president, Follett School Solutions. “The institutes will provide an opportunity for school and district leaders to better understand how librarians can lead content curation and the digital transformation.”

According to Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, which leads FRS, “the institutes are a powerful opportunity for educators to network with peers and learn from innovators in their own backyard who are dealing with many of the same challenges. For districts that are just starting out or are further along, FRS institutes will help educators take the next step in their journey to personalize learning for their students and become future ready.”

Registration is open to one leadership team per district at www.futureready.org/institutes.

While the 2017 FRS institutes are free, space is limited. Dates and locations are:

  • July 13-14: Denver
  • July 20-21: Albany, N.Y.
  • Aug. 3-4: Palm Springs, Calif.
  • Sept. 25-26: Indianapolis
  • Oct. 11-12: Philadelphia
  • Oct. 26-27: New Orleans
  • Nov. 14-15: Sacramento, Calif.
  • Nov. 29-30: Detroit


To learn more about the institutes, visit www.futureready.org/institutes.


About The Alliance for Excellent Education | www.all4ed.org

The Alliance is a Washington, DC–based national policy, practice, and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, a career, and citizenship.


About Follett’s PreK-12 Business| follettlearning.com
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.


About Follett Corporation | follett.com

For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to preK-12 schools, colleges and campus stores, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach, students to learn and fans to celebrate. A leading provider of education technology, services and physical and digital content, Follett currently works with 70,000 schools and operates more than 1,250 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores. With the 2016 acquisition of Baker & Taylor, LLC, Follett’s reach also extends into the public library and global retail markets. Today Follett Corporation is the world’s largest single source of books, entertainment products, digital content and multi-media for libraries, schools and retailers. Follett is a $3.6 billion privately held company headquartered in Westchester, Illinois.