eCYBERMISSION: STEM Youth Developing Modern Solutions to Community Based Problems
July 8, 2020
eCYBERMISSION is a U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) national web-based Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) competition for students in 6th through 9th grade. The program promotes self-discovery and enables all students to recognize the real-life applications of science, math, and technology while engaging with U.S. Army scientists and engineers who mentor them along the way. Using best practices in science and engineering, teams of three to four students propose solutions to real problems in their communities and compete for State, Regional, and National Awards and recognition.
Phases of eCYBERMISSION
Participants go through three phases of judging, including Virtual Judging, Regional Judging, and the National Judging & Educational Event (NJ&EE). Teams submit their work in dedicated Mission Folders, a process which allows the judges to access their work virtually and track their progress.
All Mission Folders are scored by Virtual Judges. eCYBERMISSION Virtual Judges are STEM Professionals across the country. They use the eCYBERMISSION Judging Rubrics to score each Mission Folder. All Mission Folders will be scored up to three times by Virtual Judges. Once Virtual Judging is complete, all teams will have access to their Mission Folder Score and can read comments from the Virtual Judges.
After Virtual Judging, the top three teams from each grade level in each region will be notified of their opportunity to compete at the regional level. Sixty Regional Teams will advance to the Regional Judging round. These teams will consist of first-place winning teams in each region. Eligible teams must have a minimum score of 300 (out of 500) and must have the highest scores in their region and in their grade.
Regional Judging takes place virtually through the educational platform Blackboard. Students will have an opportunity to make a four minute oral presentation to the judges followed by a five minute judge question and answer session. Regional Judges consist of U.S. Army Scientists and Engineers working at Army Laboratories and Centers across the country.
The top Regional Finalist Teams from each grade will advance to the NJ&EE. Twenty National Finalist Teams will participate in a week of STEM-related activities hosted by eCYBERMISSION and the AEOP. This trip is paid for by eCYBERMISSION and all participants will receive food, lodging, and a host of educational opportunities. The NJ&EE was held virtually in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the National Judging event, students will have an opportunity to make a four minute oral presentation to the National Judges followed by a question and answer session. National Judges consist of U.S. Army Scientists and Engineers working at Army Laboratories and Centers across the country.
The 2020 Virtual National Judging & Educational Event
eCYBERMISSION is organized and executed by the AEOP. Due to the restrictions and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was made to execute all phases of eCYBERMISSION virtually. Although it is unfortunate that students were not able to gather, share, and explore STEM together, the virtual execution did allow some of the events to be live-streamed for the public to learn more about eCYBERMISSION.
AEOP Alumni Panel:
During the AEOP Alumni Panel, four graduates of various AEOP programs spoke about the impact AEOP participation had on their careers as well as involvement in STEM activities from a young age. Now pursuing a range of college, graduate studies, and career paths, the panelists provided advice to individuals looking to follow certain professional paths, spoke of hardships they faced in making their career choices, explained how they chose specific college majors and extracurricular activities, and answered viewer questions.
To view the Alumni Panel presentation, the recorded live-stream can be found here:
During the National Showcase, the final set of teams comprised of three-to-four students had the opportunity to provide a short presentation on the solution they developed for a specific problem in their community. Teams started by introducing the problem, then explained their research and development process, demonstrated their invention or solution, and finally outlined their future plans related to the cause.
The idea and creations developed by these students were both creative and – in some case – extremely effective. Many teams had already implemented their solutions within their communities and teamed with local businesses or authorities to continue their progress. The passion these students had for their work was evident as they shared the information about their product. The event made clear that involvement in STEM at any age has the potential to provide real-world benefits and global impacts.
To view the National Showcase, the recorded live-stream can be found here:
Participants, hosts, and representative of the Army and STEM community participated in the Awards Ceremony to celebrate the students' achievements. Major General John George, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC), spoke on the importance of STEM and the impact that programs like eCYBERMISSION have on the career-readiness of future scientists and engineers. In addition, Major Allison Brager, Army Neuroscientist, was invited to provide a keynote speech on her career pathway, achievements, and involvement in STEM.
Awards were announced and separated into different categories including People's Choice Award, 6th Grade National Winner, 7th Grade National Winner, 8th Grade National Winner, and 9th Grade National Winner. Viewers were able to see the reactions of the winning teams being announced and the excitement of hard work paying off.
To view the Awards Ceremony, the recorded live-stream can be found here:
In addition, a complete list of award winners can be found here:
Call for Volunteers
All phases of eCYBERMISSION rely on a network of volunteers involved in STEM careers. Volunteer commitment varies across the three phases of judging. In addition to volunteering as a judge, there is also a need for additional volunteers at the NJ&EE in the role of mentors and workshop hosts. For more information or to communicate interest in serving as an eCYBERMISSION volunteer, please consider the following:
- View the "Volunteer Opportunities"
- Complete and submit the "Volunteer Interest" form
- Or, interested parties can simply email the following address: USArmy.Detrick.MEDCOM-USAMRMC.Other.Educational-Outreach@health.mil From there, your local U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) will be notified of your interest