LEESBURG, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. Army is pleased to announce the 2015-16 national winners of the 14th annual eCYBERMISSION competition. The winning teams were announced this afternoon at the National Judging and Educational Event (NJ&EE) awards luncheon.
Sponsored by the U.S. Army, one of several science, technology, engineering and math initiatives offered by the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the web-based competition challenges 6th-9th graders with proposing solutions to real-world problems.
“The U.S. Army is committed to answering the nation’s call for increased STEM education opportunities for students,” said Louie R. Lopez, Program Manager for eCYBERMISSION. “Congratulations to the 2016 national winners and STEM-in-Action grant recipients for your commitment to solving community issues.”
The winning teams were chosen from 20 national finalist teams, which were selected from more than 7,000 teams that entered the 2016 competition. Since the program’s inception in 2002, eCYBERMISSION has awarded state, regional and national competition winners over $10 million in U.S. Savings Bonds.
“The national winners represent an outstanding group of students whose remarkable projects not only demonstrate an advanced aptitude in STEM, but also serve as an inspirational reminder of the ingenuity that comes from igniting students’ natural curiosity,” said Dr. David Evans, NSTA executive director. “We congratulate the student winners and commend their advisors for engaging and empowering the students to make a real difference in the world around them.”
Each member of the four national winning teams received an additional $5,000 in U.S. E.E. Savings Bonds (matured value), bringing the total received to $9,000 each. The 2015-16 national winning teams are:
Sixth grade: Las Chicas de Puerto Rico, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Bria Roettger, Janat Khan, Janeliz Guzman Acevedo, and Luz Figueroa-Rodriguez from Ramey School worked with team advisor Ingrid Rapatz-Roettger and investigated the effects of Saharan dust levels on local respiratory issues and how to create an effective warning system for people who suffer from asthma in Puerto Rico.
Seventh grade: Silver Bullet, Whiteface, Texas
Blade Henry, Elizabeth Casarez, Kaden Moses, and Kaylah Deavours with Science Rocks U worked with team advisor Laura Wilbanks and looked for cost effective ways to heal wounds in a world with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Team results identified colloidal silver as the material with the largest zone of inhibition and greatest ability to fight bacteria.
Eighth grade: Artemis, Frisco, Texas
Ashwin Koduri, Rushil Chander, and Sonya Ganeshram from Academic Center of Science worked with Bhagyashri Chander and developed a new safety device for the hearing impaired to help notify a user of dangers. Their application can convert emergency light signals (strobe lights) and gas leak detection information into an SMS text alert as well as into a vibratory response for a device worn by a person who is hearing impaired.
Ninth grade: Myto-Critters, Taos, New Mexico
Ashley Martinez, Sierra Ferguson, Zachary Ginn from Taos Middle/High School worked with Laura Tenorio and investigated the impact of antibiotics on mitochondrial function and health in comparison to natural antibiotics. They determined that the antibiotics tested had indications of mitochondrial toxicity while none of the natural antibiotics had any impact on the mitochondria. Team research indicates that natural antibiotics could be better for reducing mitochondrial toxicity and improving health.
NJ&EE is a weeklong event that focuses on educational opportunities and team building exercises. This year’s event featured a STEM Challenge, where students participated in various STEM demonstrations and hands-on activities. Other highlights included a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress, sightseeing at the National Mall, and a live-streamed National Showcase where students displayed and demonstrated their winning ideas.
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 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 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.