WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 27, 2011) -- The 2010-2011 eCYBERMISSION competition came to a close here June 24, 2011, during an awards banquet at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel.

It was "Team Genius" of Connecticut, the "Surf City Smartbikes" who cruised in from California, the "Pod People" of Oregon and team "HUGE" out of New York, who took top honors in the week-long competition.

The eCYBERMISSION event hosted 16 finalist teams composed of 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade students from around the nation. Each team presented projects where they used science, technology, engineering and mathematics to solve problems from their own local communities.

Several senior Army leaders, including Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, commander, Army Research Development and Engineering Command, were present at the banquet. Justice addressed the students and commended them on their achievements before the awards ceremony began.

The team from Hamden, Conn., Team Genius, took the national title for the 6th-grade level. Team Genius studied phantom leaks in electricity, which occur when an electronic device is left plugged in when not in use. They created a cell phone charger that emits a buzzing noise when left plugged in while not connected to a cell phone. Members of Team Genius included Allison Barone, Vivake Kumar, Alok Muthry, and Thomas Peters.

The Surf City Smartbikes, from Huntington Beach, Calif., took home honors as the 7th-grade champions. The team constructed a safety feature for bicycles called Smartbikes, in which a device produces visual and audible alerts until the rider buckles their helmet. The Bikers included Zachary Goodale, Grant Gochman, Huongly Do, and Bijan Afghani.

The POD People researched the use of Stirling engines as an alternate source of fuel and studied how a design built around its premise can be used to power homes. Members of the team were cloned from Tucker Barnes, Tristan Cornelius and Connor Magrid, brilliant 8th-graders out of Veneta, Ore.

Team HUGE from Roslyn Heights, N.Y. was the 9th-grade winner. Members Anvit Kalra-Lall, Ross Kaplan and Andrew Penner, researched how to capture kinetic energy generated by walking, and created wearable devices that could be fastened to a shoe which capture and store energy.

The winning teams were each awarded $5,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds.