2017-07-14 / News Update

Army announces winners at 15th annual eCYBERMISSION


Heatwave, from West Middle School in Andover, Mass., was named winner of the Army Values award, bestowed by Army mentors at eCYBERMISSION. 
PHOTO BY TOM FAULKNER / ARMY NEWS SERVICE Heatwave, from West Middle School in Andover, Mass., was named winner of the Army Values award, bestowed by Army mentors at eCYBERMISSION. PHOTO BY TOM FAULKNER / ARMY NEWS SERVICE LEESBURG, Virginia —Winners were announced June 30 during closing ceremonies of the 15th annual eCYBERMISSION, a U.S. Army sponsored, web-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics competition.

The annual awards luncheon is the culminating event in the National Judging and Educational Event. eCYBERMISSION is an official Army Educational Outreach Program.

Team awards were presented by Thomas Russell, the Army’s chief scientist and keynote speaker for the event, John Willison, executive deputy to the commanding general, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, and Command Sgt. Maj. James Snyder, the RDECOM senior enlisted advisor.

Sixth grade winners were the GreenHouse Gals, from Kennedy Junior High School in Lisle, Illinois. Team members are Anjana Ramachandran, Divya Lidder and Sruthi Kotlo, led by team advisor Ramu Ramachandran. The national judges’ remarked on the team’s vision as they pursued a project that demonstrated how composting would be beneficial to their community and improve local processes.

Seventh grade winners were Lanikai Science Squad from Kailua Intermediate School, Kailua, Hawaii. With the motto: “Don’t Panic, Grow Organic”, team members Heather Dinman, Emma McDonald, Lily Bachl and Jasmine Cadotte, led by team advisor Kathleen Dinman, investigated how synthetic pesticides can have harmful side effects and created their own organic pesticide using local ingredients. The judges’ commended the novelty of their project and were impressed with the prototype they developed.

Eighth grade winners were The Whiz Kids from Lake Linden- Hubbel School in Lake Linden, Michigan. Team members Gabriel Poirier, Beau Hakala and Siona Beaudoin, with team advisor Gretchen Hein, sought plants and vegetation that could grow on barren land near Lake Superior and Torch Lake. Judges cited the team’s awareness of a community issue, their passion for their project and how they were working to improve the community environment.

Ninth grade winners were The Three Musketeeretts from STEM- 4Girls in Portland, Oregon. Team members Nandhana Nixon, Ragini Dindukurthi and Namitha Nixon, led by team advisor Nixon Xavier, sought to minimize Phantom Limb Sensation/Pain for amputees using cost effective virtual reality technology. Judges said the project was innovative and focused, that their work would benefit users and that their teamwork was clearly evident.

The People’s Choice award winners, determined by online viewers during the National Showcase of student projects, went to the Cybermaniacs, a sixth grade team from the Navy Elementary School in Fairfax, Vairginia. Their project investigated a problem on their school property -- stagnant water, pollution and runoff that restricted students’ outside activities.

The team received more than 4,600 votes from the online viewers. The award and iPads for each of the students were presented by David Evans, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association.

The Cybermaniacs were also STEM-in-Action grant winners along with four other teams. Team ColumbiaGreen, from Columbia Elementary School in Madison, Alabama., received a grant to further their project -- increasing proper recycling in their community. Team members are: Timothy Zhu, Neha Chopade and Puja Chopade, led by team advisor Beena Chopade.

Two seventh grade teams - Heatwave and the Lanikai Science Squad -- also received STEM-in-Action grants, as did the ninth grade team, The Three Musketeeretts. Matthew Willis, director for the Laboratory Management Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Army for Research and Technology, presented the STEM-in-Action awards. Winning teams receive up to $5,000 in funding to further develop and implement their projects for the good of their communities.

Heatwave, from West Middle School in Andover, Massachusetts., also captured the Army Values Award. Team members Any Koleth, John Wang, Tristan Fabre, Jocelyn Pern and team advisor Kelly McDonald developed a sensor that could reduce the number of infant deaths when left in cars during times of extreme heat. Snyder and noncommissioned officers from RDECOM selected Heatwave for its consistently high energy and enthusiasm during eCYBERMISSION events.

Also recognized were Army organizations that contributed volunteer support to eCYBERMISSION as virtual judges. Leading that charge was the Communications Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, followed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center. The U.S. Military Academy received an honorable mention.

The Virtual Judge of the Year award went to Dennis Smith from the Baltimore District of the Army Corps of Engineers.

The Cyber Guide of the Year was awarded to Bruce Elliot, the former executive director of the Office of Sponsored Research at Northwestern University, Chicago Campus.

Team Advisor of the Year was presented to Andi Suter, an 8th grade science teacher from the Saddleback Valley Unified School District, South Orange County, California.

The Ambassador of the Year award went to Lucia Salvi, from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory Human Resources & Engineering Directorate. Salvi’s support led to nearly 75 percent of the Army Research Laboratory’s personnel participating as online virtual judges.

Willis presented the Volunteer/ Virtual Judge/Cyber Guide/Ambassador and Team Advisor of the Year awards.

Erica Bertoli, team lead for the CERDEC Educational Outreach Program, served as emcee during the luncheon.

In all, 5,768 teams competed in this year’s eCYBERMISSION, including 20,607 students in hands-on, inquiry-based learning projects that challenged them to formulate a solution to an identified community problem using scientific and engineering design best practices.

The national finalists represented 16 states, with three teams coming from New York and two from Michigan. Other states represented were: Virginia, Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, California, Hawaii and Oregon.

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