LEESBURG, Va. -- Fourteen eCYBERMISSION student scientists gained worldwide attention for their projects June 22 as they were featured on the web-based interview show, "Dr. Kiki's Science Hour." eCYBERMISSION is an annual U.S. Army sponsored science competition.

"I usually have only one scientist to interview [but] I want to be a part of helping to foster the growth of science in our country … helping to grow new science role models," said Kirsten "KiKi" Sanford.

"Dr. Kiki's Science Hour," a one-hour web-based video show, airs live each Thursday at 7 p.m. eastern time at www.kirstensanford.com.

Sanford has been producing "Dr. Kiki's Science Hour" along with "This Week in Science" for a little more than three years. She holds a doctorate degree in molecular, cellular and integrative physiology with an emphasis on neurobiology and is recognized as one of the top science media personalities in the nation.

Sanford selected four teams of eCYBERMISSION finalists to be interviewed. Representing the sixth grade were the "Sun Sensor" team from George J. Mitchell Elementary School in Little Egg Harbor, N.J. The seventh grade team was the "Dust Bunnies" from Science Rocks U in Whiteface, Texas. Selected from the eighth grade was "Kenya Grow It?" from Memorial Park Middle School in Ft. Wayne, Ind. Ninth graders, the "Wound Warriors" are also from Science Rocks U of Whiteface, Texas.

The student scientists discussed their projects in detail to Sanford explaining why it was important and its relevance to their community and the science world. Sanford was impressed by the students.

"They're inspiring. They're passionate. They really took the missions seriously," she said. "They connected with their communities. They went and connected with researchers working on similar problems. They really took the entire package and integrated the real world with an idea and ran with it. I just think it's great."

Sanford said the Army's eCYBERMISSION science competition plays an essential role in getting students interested in science.

"A lot of kids think science is just what's in books and learning facts and figures [but] it's projects like this, being involved in competitions, being involved in science fairs that lets kids get their hands dirty," she said. "[It] lets them explore the scientific method, figure out how it works and actually realize it's something they can do all the time. So eCYBERMISSION, along with other science fairs and competitions, is an absolutely essential part of our country's future."

Page last updated Tue June 26th, 2012 at 00:00