LEESBURG, Va. (June 20, 2014) -- Student achievements in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) were recognized today at the 12th Annual eCYBERMISSION National Judging and Educational Event in Leesburg, Va.
The U.S. Army's eCYBERMISSION program is a web-based STEM competition, free for students in grades six through nine, in which teams compete for state, regional and national awards while working to solve problems in their communities.
Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and U.S. Army chief of engineers, congratulated participants while delivering the keynote address during the National Awards Luncheon.
"Chase your dreams," he said, after sharing success stories. "Don't listen to anyone who says it can't be done. It can be done. It has been done. You're going to do it."
According to Louie Lopez, eCYBERMISSION program manager, the teams at the national awards ceremony represented the top entries out of the original 7,684 teams, composed of 29,682 students.
This year, USACE was also recognized for volunteer support provided to the competition. A total of 164 USACE volunteers - 111 Virtual Judges, 33 CyberGuides and 20 Ambassadors - helped promote the program, mentor eCYBERMISSION students and judge 1,477 entries. The 164 USACE volunteers reflect a dramatic increase from 16 volunteers just two years ago.
As the first-place award recipient for volunteer participation, USACE will receive additional funding to be used for the promotion of the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) or in support of AEOP priorities locally, including awareness of Department of Defense STEM and career opportunities.
National winning teams for this year's competition are Quake Safe, composed of 6th grade students Julie Bray, Luke Clay and Ashton Cofer; Ants Go Marchin' 2 by 2, composed of 7th grade students Christina Crawford, Hudson Sanders, Davis Smith and George Wiebe; Bro x 4, composed of 8th grade students Joey Madson, Jacob Stafford, Haiden Moody and Christian Moody; and Crabyotics, composed of 9th grade students Andrea Chin-Lopez, Anthony Archuleta, James Valerio and Julie Johnson.
These teams represent Gahanna Middle School East in Gahanna, Ohio; Science Rocks U in Whiteface, Texas; Wheatland Middle School in Wheatland, Wyoming; and Taos Middle High School in Taos, New Mexico, respectively.
The United States expects a total of 2.4 million STEM job openings by 2018 based on growth and retirements. STEM represents the fastest growing occupational area in the country, next only to the healthcare industry.
"Science, technology, engineering and math is the foundation of everything for the Corps of Engineers, for our Army and for our military," said Bostick.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, working to meet the Nation's STEM challenge, actively connects the Corps with communities around the Nation. In cooperation with national partners, including the Department of Defense Educational Activity and Department of Defense initiatives like the Army Educational Outreach Program, the Corps strives to increase the awareness of these fields. In addition, over 1,000 student internship opportunities are available each year for students to experience the possibilities that exist within the Army.
To learn more about the Corps' involvement in STEM, visit usace.army.mil.