278 Teams of U.S. Students Named State Winners in the 12th Annual eCYBERMISSION Competition
The U.S. Army announced the state winners of the 12th annual eCYBERMISSION competition, one of several science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives offered by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP). The competition, sponsored by the U.S. Army and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), is a free online learning competition designed to cultivate student interest in STEM by encouraging students in grades six through nine to develop solutions to real-world problems in their local communities. Students must be U.S. citizens enrolled in a U.S.-based public, private or home school, or Department of Defense Education Activity school to participate. Students can win on a state, regional, and national level, with national winning teams receiving up to $8,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, valued at maturity.
"The U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program is extremely proud of the state winning teams and their accomplishments in the 2013-2014 eCYBERMISSION competition," said Louie R. Lopez, Program Manager for eCYBERMISSION. "eCYBERMISSION provides the Army and AEOP the opportunity to reach students nationally and inspire the next generation of STEM talent. We hope that they will continue to take advantage of AEOP opportunities."
"It's exciting to see students thinking beyond the science classroom, connecting what they have learned in school to practical applications, while actively engaging their community to make a real difference in the world around them," said Bill Badders, NSTA President. "Congratulations to all of the state winning teams and their advisors for their hard work, dedication, and innovative project ideas."
Through the program, three to four students plus an adult team advisor are asked to identify an issue in their community related to one of seven mission challenges, including:
- alternative sources of energy;
- the environment;
- food, health and fitness;
- force and motion;
- national security and safety;
- robotics; and
After selecting a mission challenge, teams apply the scientific practices or engineering design process to propose a solution. The program provides teams with the opportunity to interact with STEM professionals virtually who volunteer in the competition to assist students and teachers with their projects. Each team then submits a mission folder, the official write-up of their project, via the eCYBERMISSION website.
A panel of virtual judges evaluates and scores the mission folders on the basis of several criteria to identify state winning teams. The selected first-place state winning teams then move on to the regional competition and compete with other teams in their grade. The final winning teams then compete at the national level and receive an all-expenses paid trip to the National Judging and Educational Event (NJ&EE), taking place June 2014 in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.