The U.S. Army has announced two Discovery 9th grade teams, “Alpha Omega 1/4 Pounder” and “MinuteMen,” from Spring Valley High School as the 1st and 2nd place state winners, respectively, in the 15th annual eCYBERMISSION competition – a STEM initiative offered by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP). Each first and second place team member will be awarded $1000 or $500 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, maturity value, respectively, for being a state winner. Moreover, team Alpha Omega 1/4 Pounder was also named a regional finalist and completed a virtual oral presentation and judging session on April 27th to compete for a spot in the National finals. Each team member will receive an additional $1000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, maturity value. Finally, “Refugee Relief Group” earned the Honorable Mention Award for the state of South Carolina.
These teams worked together with their team advisor, Dr. Michelle Wyatt, to design projects focusing on reducing algal blooms (Alpha Omega 1/4 Pounder–Briana Gray, Sachet Urs, and Tyler White), optimizing a thermoelectric generator (MinuteMen–Frank Boysia, Vamsi Gorrepati, Pranav Guntupalli, and Andrew "Bryson" Miller), and building an online platform to connect refugees with donors and donor agencies (Refugee Relief Group-Ahad Chattha, Jareer Imran, and Amal Verma).
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, Alpha Omega 1/4 Pounder and MinuteMen 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.