Three Virginia schools are among the 20 finalists that have been selected as national finalists in the U.S. Army’s 14th annual eCYBERMISSION competition. The web-based science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program — sponsored by the U.S. Army and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) — is 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.
The Virginia finalists include:
- 6th grade – Pandanet, Greenbriar West Elementary School, Fairfax
- 7th grade – RCMS SARK, Rachel Carson Middle School, Herndon
- 8th grade – Rocky Run, Home-based, Centreville
“The U.S. Army is pleased with the amazing pool of talent displayed nationally from the national finalists in this year’s eCYBERMISSION competition,” AEOP Cooperative Agreement Manager Louie R. Lopez said. “Congratulations to all of the visionary and hardworking national finalist teams. I look forward to meeting each team at the National Judging and Educational Event.”
“These outstanding students recognized challenges that exist in their local communities and explored ways to solve them,” NSTA Executive Director Dr. David Evans said. “We applaud the teams on their innovative projects. Their work is impressive.”
The national finalist teams will advance to eCYBERMISSION’s National Judging and Educational Event (NJ&EE), taking place in Washington, D.C. area June 20-24.
The national finalists were selected from a competitive group of 60 regional finalists by a panel of judges consisting of U.S. Army STEM professionals. Each team presented a live, four-minute presentation on their project and then participated in an in-depth Q&A. The regional judges looked at how well teams effectively identified problems in their community using STEM to propose a solution.
The national finalists focused their projects on one of seven mission challenges that affected their community, including alternative sources of energy; the environment; food; health and fitness; force and motion; national security and safety; and robotics. As national finalists, each team member will receive $2,000 in U.S. Series EE Savings Bonds and an all-expenses paid trip to NJ&EE to compete for the first-place national award in their grade.
In addition to the national awards, the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) is giving up to five STEM-in-Action grants to select eCYBERMISSION regional and national finalist teams to implement solutions in their local communities based on the results of their projects. Each winning team will be awarded a $5,000 grant. The grants are independent of the selection of the national winners.
The NJ&EE is a week-long event providing educational opportunities and team-building exercises for the students. This year’s event features a live-streamed national showcase and awards luncheon, tour of Washington, D.C. and a STEM Challenge featuring demonstrations and hands-on activities.
Related: U.S. Army Announces 60 Finalists to Advance in 13th Annual eCYBERMISSION STEM Competition