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Press Release

National Winners Named in the 21st Annual eCYBERMISSION STEM Competition

$130,000 worth of U.S. EE Savings Bonds at maturity awarded to eCYBERMISSION 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, and 9th Grade National-Winning Teams

HUNT VALLEY, Md.—July 3, 2023—The U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) announced that teams MISSing Monarchs (6th grade), H2O Bros (7th grade), Cardio for Chemo (8th grade), and Urica (9th grade) are the National Winners for their respective grade levels at the 21st annual eCYBERMISSION National Judging & Educational Event (NJ&EE). Each team member will now receive $10,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds at maturity.

The four-day event, which took place June 26 – 29 at the Delta Hotels Baltimore Hunt Valley in Hunt Valley, Maryland, saw five National Finalist teams per grade level from across the country compete for the National Winner title. Teams presented their eCYBERMISSION projects to a panel of senior Scientist and Engineer judges from the Department of Defense, the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA), and the eCYBERMISSION Team Advisor of the Year, who then unanimously selected the National Winner for each grade level. Winners were announced at the National Awards Ceremony, which took place June 29. This year’s National Winners are:

MISSing Monarchs – 6th Grade

MISSing Monarchs raised awareness of the decline of the monarch butterfly population in their community and provided new efforts to sustain the population. They distributed 421 packets of milkweed seeds, spoke with local mayors about how to increase the monarch population, and established 16 registered butterfly waystations. The team is comprised of students Annie Wei, April Yao, Elizabeth Moody, and Olivia Kim and led by Team Advisor Richard Gash. They hail from Bay Sea Scouts in Bay Village, Ohio.

H2O Bros – 7th Grade

H2O Bros investigated the use of centrifuge technology and distillation to clean the produced and flowback water that comes to the surface during fracking extraction. The water they purified was used in germination experiments where 95% of seeds grew successfully following the team’s treatment. The team is comprised of students Brex Stephens, Lucas Higgins, Lincoln Dooley, and Jaxson Ferran and led by Team Advisor Laura Stary. They hail from Southcrest Christian School in Lubbock, Texas.

Cardio for Chemo – 8th Grade

Cardio for Chemo designed a personalized app for cancer patients that can help alleviate symptoms with the use of exercise. The team created digital wireframes from hand-drawn wireframes and used an app building platform, Thunkable, to code the app and test it. The team is comprised of students Elizabeth Vetzev and Rebecca John and led by Team Advisor Kelly McDonald. They hail from West Middle School in Andover, Massachusetts.

Urica – 9th Grade

Urica sought to develop a preventative solution for hyperuricemia using plants with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic properties. After designing prototypes, conducting experiments, and analyzing their results, they created a product that is safe to consume, effective, natural, affordable, and easily accessible while preventing uric acid build up. The team is comprised of students Nidhi Sagaram, Samil Sharma, and Viraj Vyas and led by Team Advisor Bhavna Sharma. They hail from Metea Valley and Neuqua Valley High Schools in Naperville, Illinois.

"The Army Educational Outreach Program's vision is to foster a nation of STEM-inspired change makers, problem solvers, and innovators," said Christina Weber, AEOP Cooperative Agreement Manager. "The initiative of these National Winners, and of all eCYBERMISSION students, to use STEM to address real problems in their communities is a testament to that vision. I offer my sincere congratulations to this year's National Winners." 

“Congratulations to the eCYBERMISSION National Winners. I am so inspired by these students, their unique and diverse perspectives, and innovative ideas to solve problems in their communities and the world at large by using science and engineering,” said Erika Shugart, Ph.D., NSTA Executive Director and CEO. “I cannot wait to see where their dedication and innovative thinking will lead them and the rest of us as well.”

In addition to the National Winner title, two other awards were given at this year’s NJ&EE. Team Cardio for Chemo (8th grade, Massachusetts) received the Army Values Award for best embodying the U.S. Army values throughout the week of NJ&EE. Team Soundsations (9th grade, Maryland) received the People’s Choice Award, which was decided by the popular vote of at-home viewers after all teams presented their projects at the livestreamed National Showcase.

Registration for the 2023-2024 eCYBERMISSION competition opens in the fall. To learn more about eCYBERMISSION, please visit

eCYBERMISSION is a free, virtual science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) competition for students in grades six to nine that promotes teamwork, self-discovery, and the real-life applications of STEM. Students work in teams, with the help of an adult Team Advisor, and select a problem in their community to explore with science or solve with engineering. With eCYBERMISSION, students experience STEM firsthand and learn how they can use it to change the world while interacting with STEM professionals and competing for state, regional, and national awards. eCYBERMISSION students have applied for and received patents, expanded their projects into businesses, and achieved further national recognition, including the first ever TIME’s “Kid of the Year”. eCYBERMISSION is part of the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) and is administered by NSTA.

About the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP)
The United States Army has long recognized that a scientifically and technologically literate citizenry is our nation’s best hope for a secure, rewarding, and successful future. For over 50 years, the U.S. Army has supported a wide range of educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for our youth, college, and graduate students, as well as our valued teachers. Through AEOP, the U.S. Army continues its long tradition and strong commitment to the advancement of STEM education and literacy. Leveraging its most valuable assets – world-class scientists and engineers and research facilities – AEOP offers our nation’s youth and teachers a collaborative, cohesive portfolio of opportunities that effectively engage future workforce generations in meaningful, real-world STEM experiences, competitions, and paid internships. For more information about AEOP, please visit

About the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA)
The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is a vibrant community of 40,000 science educators and professionals committed to best practices in teaching science and its impact on student learning. NSTA offers high quality science resources and continuous learning so that science educators grow professionally and excel in their career. For new and experienced teachers alike, the NSTA community offers the opportunity to network with like-minded peers at the national level, connect with mentors and leading researchers, and learn from the best in the field. For more information, visit, or follow NSTA on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

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Faith Benner

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