ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) today announced the kickoff of the 17th annual eCYBERMISSION program, a web-based competition designed to cultivate student interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) 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 19, 2018 at www.ecybermission.com.
“The U.S. Army is proud to continue the eCYBERMISSION program for its 17th consecutive year,” said Louie R. Lopez, AEOP Cooperative Agreement Manager at the U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command. “AEOP opportunities, such as eCYBERMISSION, aim to inspire and harness the creative ideas of future STEM innovators, by engaging the Army’s unique resources in our highly technical workforce of scientists and engineers, and in leveraging the Army’s research and engineering facilities.”
“In order to ensure a robust pipeline of STEM talent, it is critical that we start early to encourage students to extend and deepen their interest in science, technology, engineering, and math,” said Dr. David Evans, NSTA Executive Director. “We believe that the skills that students learn and develop while participating in eCYBERMISSION will inspire innovation, boost self-confidence, and ignite a real passion for STEM that will hopefully drive them to pursue careers in the STEM fields.”
Administered by the National Science Teachers Association, the competition calls for teams of three to four students plus an adult team advisor to identify a problem 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 technology.
After selecting a mission challenge, teams apply the scientific practices or engineering design process to construct explanations or design solutions. 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 & Educational Event, taking place June 2019.
Registration for the 2018-2019 competition will remain open through December 19, 2018. Final mission folder submissions are due February 27, 2019. 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 21, 2018 will receive a free STEM kit.
The response to eCYBERMISSION last year was unprecedented, with 5,683 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. 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. CyberGuides’ registration is open through February 27.
- 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 27.
About the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP)
The United States Army has long recognized that a scientifically and technologically literate citizenry is our nation’s best hope for a secure, rewarding, and successful future. For over 50 years, the Army has supported a wide range of educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for our youth, college and graduate students, as well as our valued teachers. Our nation’s economy has greatly benefited from the technological achievements of the last century and is destined for greater achievements throughout the 21st century. For more information about AEOP, please visit www.usaeop.com.
About the NSTA
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence in science teaching and learning, preschool through college. NSTA’s membership includes approximately 50,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business representatives, and others involved in science education.