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									                                                                                                  ISSUE 15 NOVEMBER 2009

                                                                NEWS BLAST
                                           Registration Now Open!
èThis Issue
In                                         eCYBERMISSION kicks off eighth year
                                           On Saturday, Aug. 1, eCYBERMISSION opened its doors for the eighth year,
 New Scenario-based Mission Challenge...   and Mission Control is excited to support you and all of your innovative
 page 2                                    projects!

 Volunteer Profile... page 3               Designed for students in grades six through nine, eCYBERMISSION is the
                                           U.S. Army’s free, web-based, science, math and technology competition.
 Engaging Educators through Social         The program challenges students to work in teams to identify a problem
 Media... page 4                           in their community and solve it using the scientific method. This “science
                                           fair for the nation” is intended to spark students’ interest in science,
 Spotlight on National Title Winners..     technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, ultimately
 page 5                                    encouraging more of our nation’s students to pursue careers in these fields.
                                           Teams are comprised of three to four students from the same grade and
                                           region, with one adult Team Advisor serving as their mentor. Students
                                           work together to solve a problem in their community by conducting
                                           experiments, researching and compiling data to test their hypothesis.
                                           Projects must fall into one of four Mission Challenges categories: Sports &
                                           Recreation, Environment, Health & Safety or the new Scenario Challenge.
                                           For the 2009-2010 competition year, the Scenario Challenge involves the
                                           study of renewable energy.

                                           eCYBERMISSION offers a number of online tools designed to help students
                                           collaborate and get assistance throughout the Registration and Submission
                                           phases. Discussion Forums, Chat Rooms and Instant Messaging tools are
                                           all monitored by Mission Control. Once a project has been completed,
                                           students submit their Mission Folders, the official write-up of their project,
 For additional information about the
                                                                                                    continued on page 5
 eCYBERMISSION competition, please
 visit or
 contact Mission Control by e-mailing      Check out our or       new web site!
 calling 1-866-GO-CYBER (462-9237).
                                             An exciting development occurred on Aug.
 For additional information about            1, with the launch of eCYBERMISSION’s new
 the eCYBERMISSION Volunteer                 web site. The newly designed web site will
 Program, please contact the Volunteer       ensure eCYBERMISSION’s continued growth
 Program Coordinator by e-mailing            and user satisfaction over the years to come.
 volunteerprogram@ecybermission.             Visit now to check
 com or calling Mission Control at           out our new look and new Discussion Forum
                                             and Instant Messaging features!
 1-866-GO-CYBER (462-9237).
 Mailing address:
 eCYBERMISSION Program Office
 4692 Millennium Drive
 Suite 200
 Belcamp, MD 21017
NEWS BLAST                                                                                        ISSUE 15 NOVEMBER 2009

eCYBERMISSION Challenges Students to
Design a Model Classroom Powered Solely by
Renewable Energy Sources
Global climate change and the need for alternative              percent. Of the seven
sources of energy are two important topics today that           percent of renewable
will surely dominate the scientific and technological           energy consumption,
landscape of tomorrow. Today’s youth need to think              Biomass accounts for 53
about these challenges, and understand how to identify,         percent, Hydroelectric
test and determine potential solutions through the use          accounts for 36 percent, Geothermal accounts for five
of renewable energy sources.                                    percent, Wind power accounts for five percent and
                                                                Solar power counts for only one percent.
eCYBERMISSION is excited to announce our new
Scenario-based Mission Challenge, focused around                Reports state that wind power is growing at the rate of
renewable energy. We are challenging students                   30 percent annually, with a worldwide installed capacity
to design a model classroom, powered solely by                  of 121,000 megawatts (MW) in 2008, and is widely
renewable energy sources. Students will need to                 used in the United States and Europe. Solar thermal
identify how much energy is used on average in a                power stations operate across the United States and
typical classroom, what power-consuming devices are             the largest of these power plants is located in the
really necessary, and how to reduce these through a             Mojave Desert. The world’s largest geothermal power
combination of technology, design and adjusted human            installation is The Geysers in California.
behavior. It is vital to understand the importance of
taking proper care of our environment, and using                As the need for alternative energy sources grows,
renewable energy is a significant part of the solution.         we need to work hard to identify changes in how we
                                                                power our world. We encourage students to accept
Renewable energy is generated from natural resources            this challenge, and help identify solutions today that
– such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat       will help our world tomorrow. This Scenario-based
– all of which are renewable or naturally replenished.          Mission Challenge is an addition to our traditional
                                                                Mission Challenges of the Environment, Health & Safety,
In April of this year, the Energy Information                   and Sports & Recreation. We hope you are as excited
Administration released its report on renewable energy          about the opportunity to compete in the Scenario-
consumption trends. In 2007, only seven percent of              based Mission Challenge as we are to see your projects.
energy consumption came from renewable energy                   For additional resources and ideas, check out the
sources. Petroleum is the leader in energy consumption          eCYBERMISSION blog at www.ecybermission.blogspot.
at 39 percent, followed by Natural Gas at 23 percent,           com.
Coal at 22 percent and Nuclear Electric Power at eight

                                             22% Coal
                                                                                                    5% Wind

    Natural Gas
                                                                                                    53% Biomass

                                                                                                    5% Geothermal

                                                                                                    36% Hydroelectric

            39%                                             Natural Electric                        1% Solar
         Petroleum                                              Power

                                                                               *Graph adapted from the April 2009
                                                                                Energy Information Administration report.
NEWS BLAST                                                                                                            ISSUE 15 NOVEMBER 2009

Volunteer Profile
CyberGuide Wayne Wolverton
When eCYBERMISSION                                                                     As a returning Volunteer for eight
debuted in 2002,                                                                       competition years, Mr. Wolverton’s favorite
Wayne Wolverton                                                                        aspect of the Ambassador and CyberGuide
registered to volunteer                                                                roles are just being able to help the students.
as a CyberGuide, and                                                                  “I love being able to take a question that one
in every year since, he                                                                of the kids has and help point them in the
has served as either                                                                   right direction, especially when you get some
a CyberGuide or                                                                        feedback and you find out that some advice
Ambassador, supporting                                                                 that you gave them or some reference that
the eCYBERMISSION                                                                      you gave them really made a difference in
goal every step of                                                                     what they were doing,” he continued.
the way. In fact, when
registration for the                                                                   In addition, Mr. Wolverton feels that
2009-2010 competition                                                                  eCYBERMISSION is a valuable asset to
opened on Aug. 1, Mr.                                                                  schools and students, but not just in terms
Wolverton was the first                                                                of teaching science, math or technology. Mr.
Volunteer to register.                                                                 Wolverton notes that a lot of the questions
                                                                                       he’s received from the students have dealt
“That first year, it was                                                               with teamwork, such as dividing up the work
 a chance to give                                                                      evenly to avoid some members of the team
 something back to                                                                     doing more than others. “Getting them to
 the community,” he                                                                    be able to work together and realize that
 explained. “My oldest                                                                 sometimes you have to do some of the real
 daughter was in that                                                                  labor intensive work seems to get them into
                                                                                       a mindset where they’re working as part of a
 age range and I thought Photo: Wayne Wolverton the day he was deployed to Iraq in August
 it would be something                                                                 team and they get more out of it,” he said.
                             2004. Pictured with daughters Brittany, 7, (on shoulders) and Kimberly,
 interesting that would      10, (in front).
 give me a chance to                                                                    Mr. Wolverton has come across a lot of great questions
 interact with the kids and expand their horizon, help                                  while serving as an eCYBERMISSION Volunteer, but
 them learn something and develop team skills.”                                         his most memorable experience was when he was
                                                                                        volunteering from Baghdad. Two years ago, Mr.
“Every year I’ve dealt with an increasing variety of                                    Wolverton was deployed to Iraq, but was able to
 questions and observations from kids,” he added. “It                                   still serve as a CyberGuide because the time zone
 seems every year [the students] get more complex and                                   difference allowed him to work at night in Baghdad
 more interesting and they touch on a wider variety of                                  in his spare time while it was still the afternoon
 topics.”                                                                               in the United States. His username that year was
                                                                                       “CGBaghdad,” and it gained a lot of attention from
 With a bachelors degree in computer science from                                       the students. “It was really neat, even for the kids that
 Rutgers University and a masters degree in information                                 age, saying ‘you guys are doing a really great job’ and
 systems from George Mason University, there was no                                     all the support they had for the troops over there,” he
 doubt in Mr. Wolverton’s mind that he would end up in                                  said. “That was one of the more gratifying [competition
 a science or technology career. Today, Mr. Wolverton                                   years] I was involved in.”
 works as a system engineer at Picatinny Arsenal in New
Jersey, supporting the program management office for
 the lightweight 155mm Howitzer program and acting as
 a liaison between the test and development team and
 the project’s management.
“I work a lot with the interfaces between the software
 for the Howitzer systems, the actual cannons and the
 systems that run the fire control centers, so I use my
 software development and testing background to help
 work out issues between those systems,” he said.

NEWS BLAST                                                                                                     ISSUE 15 NOVEMBER 2009

Engaging Educators through Social Media
eCYBERMISSION is committed to connecting with
educators, promoting STEM education and fostering a          
conversation around the importance of science math
and technology through the use of social media.

In preparation up for the 2009-2010 competition year,
we launched several social media sites to engage
educators online. We know that educators aren’t
just teachers, but are parents, fellow students and
community leaders. Because of this, we created a
presence on multiple social media sites to enable us
to keep up the conversation with everyone invested
in STEM education. This topic changes and grows
every day, and these sites allow us to not only provide
continuous updates, but to receive invaluable feedback
from our audience.

Our blog ( provides
a platform to track the eCYBERMISSION team across
the nation as we visit schools, community centers and
teacher conferences to build excitement for the 2009-
2010 competition year. In addition to writing about
our experiences through the blog, we share images
from the road on Flickr (
com/photos/ecybermission/) and videos  
on YouTube (
ecybermissionteam). We also use the blog to
post about and comment on STEM-related
news and updates, and strongly encourage
our audience to comment and provide their
own thoughts and ideas on the subject.

STEM education enthusiasts are active on
Twitter and eCYBERMISSION is right there
with them (
Since launching our Twitter account in July
2009, eCYBERMISSION has been interacting
with key influencers in the education
community and had the chance to share best
practices and spread relevant news.

You can also become a fan of eCYBERMISSION
on Facebook (            
eCYBERMISSION uses Facebook to stay
connected with fans and keep them up-to-
date on the latest competition news. Students,
teachers and family members alike stay in
touch with eCYBERMISSION by being a fan on

However you choose to stay in touch with
eCYBERMISSION, we encourage you to engage
with us and help spread the word about STEM
education in schools and communities across
the nation.

NEWS BLAST                                                                                                                ISSUE 15 NOVEMBER 2009

Students Help Protect Kids Against
Flammable Halloween Costumes
Three students from Charlotte Latin School in
Charlotte, N.C. set out to discover a solution that
would make Halloween costumes less flammable,
and were rewarded for their efforts with the 2009
eCYBERMISSION National title for sixth grade.

Students Harrison Bell, Clyde Nelson and Andrew
Zoutewelle formed the aptly named “Dragonface”
team, led by Team Advisor Sharon Oats. Each student
received $8,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, which were
awarded at the National Judging and Educational
Event in Washington, D.C., held in June.

After reading a news story on the rise of children
who are burned from Jack-O-Lanterns while trick-or-              Team Members: Harrison Bell, Andrew Zoutewelle and Clyde Nelson; Team Advisor: Sharon Oats
treating, the students decided to research solutions             A local news station sent a crew to film the experiment,
that can be applied to costumes to make them more                which was featured several times on the evening news.
flame or fire resistant. They discovered that Borax is           Despite the fact that their findings did not support
a chemical that is said to have an effect on a fabric’s          their hypothesis, the team hopes that their experiment
flammability, and chose that as their test solution.             will raise awareness of the dangers of flammable
After soaking four polyester costumes—a Ninja, a                 Halloween costumes and lead to further testing and
skeleton, a witch, and a Winnie-the-Pooh outfit—and              prevention.
several cotton T-shirts in a solution consisting of one
part Borax to 16 parts water, the team worked with               “We found a few articles which described accidents
their local fire department to set fire to each item to           caused by children’s costumes coming too close
test its flammability. They compared their findings to            to jack-o-lanterns and catching on fire,” said the
a control group of identical costumes and T-shirts not            Dragonface team. “Several children have received third
soaked in the solution.                                           degree burns from these incidents, and we were very
                                                                  concerned. We thought that if we could find a way to
The team was surprised to find that each of the test              make costumes more flame resistant, the children in
costumes actually burned faster than the control group,           our community would be safer as they went trick-or-
literally melting off the hangers. Interestingly, the test        treating.”
T-shirts actually responded very well to the solution,
with much higher resistance to the flames than the
control group.

Registration Now Open!                continued from page 1

on the eCYBERMISSION web site. Volunteers known as Virtual Judges score the Mission Folders online and select
the winners. Students compete at both the regional and national level for up to $8,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds.
Regional first-place winning teams from each grade level are invited to the National Judging and Educational
Event (NJ&EE) in June to present their projects to a panel of National Judges for a chance to win additional U.S.
EE Savings Bonds and the national award for each grade level.
“eCYBERMISSION gives students from a diverse range of proficiency levels a chance to apply math, science and
technology to every day life,” said Mike Lombardi, Research, Development, Engineering Command’s (RDECOM)
eCYBERMISSION Program Manager. “It allows students to utilize their knowledge in these subjects to solve a
problem in their own community, helping them to gain a better understanding of and interest in the application of
these important fields.”
The 2008-2009 competition year brought eCYBERMISSION it’s largest participation yet with over 12,700 students
registered. The eCYBERMISSION team is looking forward to another successful competition year and hopes to
register more students, Team Advisors and Volunteers than ever before! Help us share the importance of science,
math and technology education by visiting now!

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