Two Discovery Freshman Teams Named State Winners in the 13th Annual eCYBERMISSION STEM Competition

Sarayu Parise (left)  Sreeja Varanasi (center) Alyssa Brunson (rt)  The Purifiers
The U.S. Army has announced two Discovery 9th grade teams, “The Purifiers” and “Banana Squad,” from Spring Valley High School as the 1st and 2nd place state winners, respectively,  in the 13th annual eCYBERMISSION competition – a STEM initiative offered by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP). Each team member will be awarded $1000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, maturity value, for being a state finalist.  These teams worked together with their team advisor, Dr. Michelle Wyatt, to design projects focusing on water purification (The Purifiers- Alyssa Brunson, Sarayu Parise, and Sreeja Varanasi) and biofuels (Banana Squad-Jasmine Flora, Mika McAnally, and Spencer O’Connor). The Purifiers were also named regional finalists (one of the top three teams in the region). In the next round of the STEM competition, regional finalists in each grade level will be evaluated by a panel of virtual judges to determine the regional winners. The Purifiers will be notified by May 7th if they advance to the national level. All regional finalist team members will receive an additional $1000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, maturity value.  The final winning teams then compete at the national level and receive an all-expenses paid trip to the National Judging and Education Event (NJ&EE) taking place June 15-19, 2015 in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Mika McAnally (left) Spencer O'Connor (center) Jasmine Flora (rt)  Banana Squad
eCYBERMISSION, sponsored by the U.S. Army and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), is a web-based STEM competition that is free to students and designed to help build students’ interest and knowledge in STEM. Students in grades six through nine are challenged with developing a solution to a real-world problem in their local community. Students compete on state, regional, and national levels for monetary awards, with national winning teams receiving up to $9,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, maturity value.  Through the eCYBERMISSION website, The Purifiers and Banana Squad created a mission folder—the official write-up of their project— which requires students to work through all steps of scientific practices before submitting to be evaluated and scored by a panel of virtual judges.