ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, on behalf of the Army Educational Outreach Program, today announced the kickoff of the 13th annual eCYBERMISSION program, a free online learning competition designed to cultivate student interest in science, technology, engineering and math by encouraging students in grades six through nine to develop solutions to real-world challenges in their local communities. Students can win on a state, regional, and national level, with national winning teams receiving up to $9,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, valued at maturity. Registration is open until December 17, 2014 at www.ecybermission.com.
Through the program, which is administered by the National Science Teachers Association, teams of 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. 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 top three scoring state winners at each grade level in each region then move on to the regional competition, where they compete with other teams in their grade across the region for an all-expenses paid trip to the National Judging and Educational Event, taking place June 2015.
Registration for the 2014-2015 competition will remain open through December 17, 2014. Final mission folder submissions are due February 25, 2015. To participate, students must be U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents, and must be officially enrolled in either sixth, seventh, eighth, or ninth grade in a public, private or home school, or a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school abroad. Students registered by November 5, 2014 will receive a free STEM Research Kit, which includes a notebook, flash drive and pencil.
The response to eCYBERMISSION last year was unprecedented, with thousands of teams registered from all 50 U.S. states, territories, and DoDEA sites. The continued success of eCYBERMISSION and its registered students depends on dedicated volunteers to support the program. eCYBERMISSION is once again seeking dynamic individuals who can contribute his or her knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to the program. Volunteer roles include:
- Ambassadors serve as the face of eCYBERMISSION by promoting the competition and recruiting other volunteers in the community. Those who wish to interact with students as a part of their outreach must submit and pass a criminal background check or have an active Department of Defense security clearance. Register here to be an ambassador.
- CyberGuides provide online assistance to eCYBERMISSION teams by answering questions and give guidance through the use of discussion forums, instant messaging, and live chat sessions. All CyberGuides must submit and pass a criminal background check or have an active Department of Defense security clearance. CyberGuides’ registration is open through February 24.
- Virtual Judges – Individuals with an interest or background in STEM or education who independently evaluate team mission folders online. Virtual judge registration is open through February 25.
More information about the competition is available at www.ecybermission.com, or by following eCYBERMISSION on Twitter, Facebook, or by contacting eCYBERMISSION Mission Control at 1-866-GO-CYBER (462-9237) or via email at email@example.com.
About Army Educational Outreach Program
The AEOP Cooperative Agreement was formed by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) 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.
The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) manages the Army Educational Outreach Program on behalf of the U.S. Army. RDECOM’s mission is 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.
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.