WASHINGTON, D.C. - Four national winning teams were announced Tuesday in the U.S. Army's 2008 eCYBERMISSION competition.

eCYBERMISSION is a web-based science, math and technology competition that allows students in grades six through nine to compete for regional and national awards while working to solve problems in their communities.

The four National Winners from grades six through nine are: the "CFL Quadcyclers" from West Branch Middle School, West Branch, Iowa; the "Sun Busters" from the Science Rocks U Club, Whiteface, Texas; the "SBS Bots" from Stone Middle School, Melbourne, Fla.; and the "Snacks 4 Education" team from the Fort Wayne Science Team, Fort Wayne, Ind.

National Winners will receive $5,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, in addition to the $3,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds already awarded to all National Finalists for selection as regional first-place winners. The members of the 12 other finalist teams will receive an additional $3,500 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds for competing at the eCYBERMISSION National Judging and Educational Event, a series of educational enrichment activities and events held this week in Washington, D.C.
"We are extremely proud of all our national winners," said Dr. Michael Doyle, U.S. Army eCYBERMISSION program manager. "Our nation is placing a greater focus on the need for science, math and technology, and eCYBERMISSION helps students gain appreciation for these fields through real-life applications of the scientific method."

All four National Winners presented interesting and diverse projects:

Aca,!AcThe sixth-grade "CFL Quadcyclers" team sought to increase public awareness of toxic mercury content in compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and the proper steps to dispose of them to prevent mercury pollution in landfills.

Aca,!AcThe seventh-grade "Sun Busters" team analyzed magazines to evaluate the media's influence on tanning, tested the intensity and effects of ultraviolet light in tanning beds and surveyed fellow students about sunscreen use.

Aca,!AcWhile researching Sick Building Syndrome, a persistent allergic reaction found in people who live or work in places that have allergens in the HVAC systems, the eighth-grade "SBS Bots" team programmed a robot to travel into an air duct and use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria cells.

Aca,!AcThe ninth-grade "Snacks 4 Education" team researched how nutritional snacks affect students during the school day and conducted a series of experiments that provided snacks to students at various times of day and then surveyed their perceived energy levels.

Now in its sixth year, eCYBERMISSION has awarded more than $5.7 million in prize money in support of the science, math and technology leaders of tomorrow. Since its inception, more than 46,000 students from across the country and in U.S. territories and Department of Defense Education Activity schools worldwide have participated in the competition. This year, 1,763 teams, comprised of 6,382 students, submitted their research for judging.

Registration for the 2008-2009 eCYBERMISSION competition begins Aug.1, 2008. For more information, visit www.ecybermission.com or call 1-866-GO-CYBER (462-9237).