20 National Finalist Teams Advance in the 19th Annual eCYBERMISSION Competition
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ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) announced that 20 student teams from across the United States have been selected as National Finalists in the 19th Annual eCYBERMISSION Competition. The web-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program—sponsored by the U.S. Army and administered by the National Science Teaching 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 National Finalist teams will advance to eCYBERMISSION's National Judging & Educational Event (NJ&EE), taking place virtually on June 21-25.

The National Finalists were selected from a competitive group of 63 Regional Finalists. A panel of judges, consisting of U.S. Army scientists and engineers, evaluated teams based on several criteria including innovative ideas, benefit to the community, team work, and overall development of the project.

"The U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program is proud to offer national STEM opportunities like eCYBERMISSION," said Christina Weber, AEOP Cooperative Agreement Manager. "It's always exciting to see so many talented students participate in our competitions, summer enrichment activities, and apprenticeship programs, and to watch them develop as they progress from one program to the next. They're the next generation of thought leaders in science and technology, and it's amazing to be a part of that. I'm honored to congratulate the Regional Winners in this year's eCYBERMISSION competition, and I look forward to virtually seeing each of them at the National Judging and Educational Event. I truly hope all of our eCYBERMISSION students will continue the important work they've started in their communities, and I challenge all of our 9th grade students to apply their talents next year in the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium!"

"The eCYBERMISSION competition is an amazing showcase of the creativity and passion of so many extraordinary students from across the country," said Elizabeth Allan, NSTA President. "Congratulations to all of the eCYBERMISSION National Finalists and Team Advisors on their accomplishments so far. I am excited to see how their STEM projects evolve in the weeks ahead."

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The National Finalists focused their projects on one of seven mission challenges affecting their community, including alternative sources of energy; the environment; food, health and fitness; force and motion; national security and safety; robotics and technology. As National Finalists, each team member will receive an additional $2,000 in U.S. Series EE Savings Bonds in recognition of their accomplishment.

In addition to the National Awards, ten teams will each receive AEOP's STEM-In-Action grant. These grants offer teams the opportunity to develop a concrete plan to further develop their project into a mature and scalable solution and effectively implement these solutions into their local communities. Each winning team will be awarded up to a $5,000 grant. The grants are independent of the selection of the National Winners.

2021 National Finalist Teams

6th Grade
  • Northeast Region: Invasive Insects Eradication Movement, Jersey City, NJ
  • North Central Region: WMS STEM Solvers, Whitehall, MI
  • Southeast Region: eGarbage Sorters, Charlotte, NC
  • South Central Region: Cedar Busters, Lubbock, TX
  • West Region: The Purifiers of 2020, Las Vegas, NV

7th Grade:
  • Northeast Region: The CQuestrators, Herndon, VA
  • North Central Region: ViridianBlue, Aurora, IL
  • Southeast Region: The Three Mudsketeers, Charlotte, NC
  • South Central Region: H2O Below, Whiteface, TX
  • West Region: Algaegators, Camas, WA

8th Grade:
  • Northeast Region: Steampunk Hedgehogs, Foxboro, MA
  • North Central Region: The Vision Walkers, Aurora, IL
  • Southeast Region: Team AstroSTEM, Myrtle Beach, SC
  • South Central Region: Academic Altruists, Frisco, TX
  • West Region: Team Stumptown, Portland, OR

9th Grade
  • Northeast Region: Signing Squad, Ashburn, VA
  • North Central Region: Phoenix Cubitects, Oswego, IL
  • Southeast Region: Pantry Patrol, Raleigh, NC
  • South Central Region: Nature Breathe, Taos, NM
  • West Region: Hawks, Portland, OR

2021 STEM-in-Action Grant Recipients

6th Grade
  • Southeast Region: The Microwaves, Deland, FL

7th Grade:
  • Northeast Region: The CQuestrators, Herndon, VA
  • North Central: Tyres, Bay Village, OH
  • West Region: Algaegators, Camas, WA

8th Grade:
  • Northeast Region: Steampunk Hedgehogs, Foxboro, MA

9th Grade
  • Northeast Region: Signing Squad, Ashburn, VA
  • Southeast Region: Pantry Patrol, Raleigh, NC
  • Southeast Region: Food Finders, Cary, NC
  • South Central Region: Nature Breathe, Taos, NM
  • West Region: Hawks, Portland, OR

NJ&EE will be a virtual event this year, providing educational opportunities and team-building exercises for the eCYBERMISSION National Finalists and STEM-in-Action recipients. Activities include a virtual Careers Workshop featuring Army scientists and engineers, an interactive AEOP Alumni Panel Presentation and judging by Army scientists and engineers; along with representation from NSTA; and a live-streamed showcase where students will display and demonstrate their winning ideas with the opportunity to win prizes through votes for the People's Choice Award. The highlight of NJ&EE will be the Awards Ceremony, where the national winning team from each grade will be announced.

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About the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program
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 eCYBERMISSION
eCYBERMISSION is a web-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) competition for students in grades six through nine that promotes self-discovery and enables all students to recognize the real-life applications of STEM. Teams of three or four students are instructed to ask questions (for science) or define problems (for engineering) and then construct explanations (for science) or design solutions (for engineering) based on identified problems in their community. Students compete for State, Regional and National Awards. The U.S. Army is committed to answering the Nation's need for increased national STEM literacy and to expanding STEM education opportunities across the country to open doors to new career paths for American students that lead to a brighter tomorrow.

About NSTA
Founded in 1944, the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is the largest organization in the world dedicated to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. A vibrant community of 40,000 science educators and professionals, NSTA is committed to best practices in teaching science and its impact on student learning. NSTA offers high quality science resources and continuous learning so that science educators grow professionally and excel in their career. For new and experienced teachers alike, the NSTA community offers the opportunity to network with like-minded peers at the national level, connect with mentors and leading researchers, and learn from the best in the field.
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