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TMCNet:  U.S. Army Announces National Winners Of eCYBERMISSION Competition; Awards Student Teams For Using STEM To Solve Real-World Problems

[June 20, 2014]

U.S. Army Announces National Winners Of eCYBERMISSION Competition; Awards Student Teams For Using STEM To Solve Real-World Problems

LEESBURG, Va. --(Business Wire)--

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, on behalf of the Army Educational Outreach Program, is proud to announce the 2013-14 national winning teams of the 12th annual eCYBERMISSION competition.

The online collaborative learning competition, administered by the National Science Teachers Association, cultivates student interest in science, technology, engineering and math by encouraging sixth through ninth-graders to develop solutions to real-world challenges in their communities.

"It's exciting to see these young students so enthusiastic about science and engineering," RDECOM Deputy Director Jyuji Hewitt said. "In order to ensure our Soldiers get the best technology, you have to have scientists and engineers that work to bring that technology forward. To get those scientists and engineers for the future, we need programs like this to get that passion for STEM back into our young children. This program does that."

The winning teams, announced today at the National Conference Center, were chosen from among 20 finalist teams, which were selected from more than 4,400 teams that entered the free competition this year. Since the program's inception in 2002, eCYBERMISSION has awarded state, regional and national competition winners with more than $8 million in U.S. Savings Bonds.

"One of the most important aspects of eCYBERMISSION is its emphasis on teamwork and the collaborative process to accomplish a mission and achieve results," said Mary Miller, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Research and Technology. "These capabilities are fundamental to an effective military, as well as many American industries, and we want to foster their development in our next generation."

Each member of the four national winning teams received $5,000 in U.S. E.E. Savings Bonds (matured value), in addition to the $1,000 awarded to them as state winners and $2,000 as regional first-place winners. The 2013-14 national winning teams are:

Sixth grade: Quake Safe, Gahanna Middle School East, Gahanna, Ohio
Team Members: Aston Cofer, Julia Bray, Luke Clay
Team Advisor: Haruna Cofer
Created an affordable hyperbolic paraboloid shaped housing solution made from bamboo that can withstand earthquakes.

Seventh grade: Ants Go Marchin' 2 by 2, Science Rocks U, Whiteface, Texas
Team Members: Davis J. Smith, George F. Wiebe, Hudson S. Sanders, Christina R. Crawford
Team Advisor: Laura Wilbanks
To increase the health of agricultural soil, developed a system to enrich seeds and use ants to disseminate them, resulting in healthier, larger, and stronger plants.

Eighth grade: Bro x 4, Wheatland Middle School, Wheatland, Wyoming
Team Members: Haiden Moody, Joey Madsen, Jacob Stafford, Christian Moody
Team Advisor: Miken Harnish
Developed a system for converting school locker banks into safety zones to provide students and teachers shelter during a tornado.

Ninth grade: Crabyotics, Taos Middle/High School, Taos, New Mexico
Team Members: Anthony J. Archuleta, James M. Valerio, Andrea G. Chin-Lopez, Julia A. Johnson
Team Advisor: Laura J. Tenorio
Developed a bio-filter system that can successfully remove antibiotic drugs from drinking water, thus helping to stem he growth of drug-resistant bacteria.


In addition to the national awards, the AEOP initiated STEM-in-Action grants this year, up to $5,000 to four national finalist teams whose implementation plans prove that their projects provide the greatest possible impact within their communities. The 2013-14 STEM-in-Action grant winners are:

Crabyotics, Taos Middle/High School, Taos, New Mexico
See members and description above.

CyberRams, Rocky Run Middle School, Chantilly, Virginia
Team Members: Diego Gutierrez, Rishabh Krishnan, Ravi Dudhagra, Adityasai Koneru
Team Advisor: Felipe Gutierrez
Created a computer program that helps prevent noise-induced hearing loss by providing the user with a map showing decibel levels the user experienced at different locations during the day.

Knightettes of the Twisters, Jenks Middle School, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Team Members: Riya Kaul, Hayden C. Hilst, Rebecca Mackey
Team Advisor: Manju Kaul
Developed an affordable, shock absorbent five-layer composite that can be applied to strengthen the walls of the innermost room of a house to provide greater protection against tornados.

Ravenclaws, Metea Valley High School, Aurora, Illinois
Team Members: Kalpa Anjur, Kavya Anjur, Lori Kipp
Team Advisor: Jonathan Ogrodnik
To help predict tornado size and strength, designed a tornado simulation chamber to identify how air and wind patterns impact the strength, speed, and duration of tornadoes.

"eCYBERMISSION helps students understand that scientific inquiry has practical application, and that they can utilize STEM skills to solve problems in their communities, our country, and our world," said NSTA executive director Dr. David Evans. "Science educators want students to embrace science and master the competencies needed to meet the advanced challenges society faces."

Winning teams were selected based on a rigorous evaluation process based on several criteria including use of scientific method/inquiry or engineering design process, collaborative effort and benefit to the community. The judging panel consisted of U.S. Army scientists and engineers from RDECOM, Army Corps of Engineers, Army Medical Command, Army Test and Evaluation Command and the U. S. Military Academy.

For more information about the eCYBERMISSION competition, visit www.ecybermission.com or contact Mission Control at 1-866-GO-CYBER (462-9297) or via email at missioncontrol@ecybermission.com.

About eCYBERMISSION

Sponsored by the U.S. Army, one of several science, technology, engineering and math initiatives offered by the Army Educational Outreach Program and administered by the National Science Teachers Association, the online collaborative learning competition is designed to cultivate student interest in STEM by encouraging students in grades six through nine to develop solutions to real-world challenges in their local communities.

About Army Educational Outreach Program

The AEOP Cooperative Agreement was formed by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program and includes Virginia Tech as the lead organization, the Academy of Applied Science, American Society for Engineering Education, the Technology Student Association, the University of New Hampshire and, new member, NSTA. AEOP is charged with addressing national needs for a STEM literate citizenry through a portfolio of educational opportunities which includes unique experiences, competitions, and high school internships that aim to spark an interest in STEM and encourage participants to pursue college and careers in STEM fields. The Army is committed to increasing the STEM talent pool in order to ensure our national security and global competitiveness. For more information on AEOP, visit www.usaeop.com.

About RDECOM

RDECOM has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers. It is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it. For more information on RDECOM, visit www.army.mil/rdecom.

About NSTA

The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes approximately 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.


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