Press release

Four Student Teams Named National Winners of 2018-19 eCYBERMISSION Competition

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The U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) is pleased to announce the 2018-19 national winners of the 17th annual eCYBERMISSION competition. The winning teams were announced today at the National Judging & Educational Event (NJ&EE) awards luncheon in Reston, Virginia.

The web-based science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program—sponsored by the U.S. Army and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)—is designed to cultivate student interest in STEM by encouraging students in grades six through nine to develop solutions to real-world problems in their local communities.

“The creativity and enthusiasm that students bring to the eCYBERMISSION competition every year is truly inspiring, and that has been particular true this week at NJ&EE,” said Christina Weber, AEOP Cooperative Agreement Manager. “The national winners, who have made it through this rigorous process, represent the best in the country and should take great pride in their success.”

The winning teams were chosen from 20 national finalist teams, which were selected from 5,097 teams that entered the 2018 competition. Since the program’s inception in 2002, eCYBERMISSION has awarded state, regional and national competition winners more than $10 million in U.S. Savings Bonds.

“It’s exciting to see students thinking beyond the science classroom, connecting what they have learned in school to practical applications, while actively engaging their community to make a real difference in the world around them,” said Dr. David Evans, NSTA executive director. “Congratulations to all of the national winning teams and their advisors for their dedication, collaborative spirit, and outstanding projects. I hope the success of these students will inspire others to follow in their footsteps.”

Each member of the national finalist teams received a total of $4,000 in U.S. E.E. Savings Bonds (matured value), and each member of the national winning teams received a total of $9,000 U.S. E.E. Savings Bonds (matured value) each. The 2018-19 national winning teams are:

Sixth grade: H.O.T.C.A.R.S., Lubbock, Texas

Alexa Tindall
, Ethan Djajadi and Josiah Morales worked with Team Advisor Laura Wilbanks to help combat the issue of hot car related deaths by creating a device reminding parents when their children are still in the car.

Seventh grade: Oh, Deer!, Lubbock, Texas

Isaiah Baier
, Aaron Barbee, Caleb Cole-Smith and Dimitrio Martinez worked with Team Advisor Laura Wilbanks to solve the problem of deer related automobile accidents by using flora illumination.

Eighth grade: Antastic Acids, Madison, Alabama

Neha Chopade
, Puja Chopade, and Pranav Somu worked with Team Advisor Beena Chopade and came up with an innovative solution to non-recyclable multilayered food packaging which involves separating the packaging’s individual layers so that each component can be recovered in its original form.

Ninth grade: Phantastic Phage Phinders, West Jordan, Utah

Kate Watson
, Rachel Amedee, Abigail Atkinson and Gavin Grose worked with Team Advisor Lora Gibbons to identify isolated bacteriophages within the E. coli samples that could eventually be developed into two products that would serve either as a method of bacteria detection, or a method of bacteria elimination.

NJ&EE is a week-long event that provides educational opportunities and team-building exercises for the eCYBERMISSION national finalists and STEM-in-Action recipients. Activities included hands-on STEM workshops led by Army scientists and engineers, a special session hosted by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and a tour of the National Mall, and a live-streamed showcase where students displayed and demonstrated their winning ideas. The highlight of the NJ&EE was the awards luncheon and ceremony, where the national winning team from each grade level was announced.

For more information about the eCYBERMISSION competition, visit or contact Mission Control at 1-866-GO-CYBER (462-9297) or via email at

About the U.S. 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 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. Our nation’s economy has greatly benefited from the technological achievements of the last century and is destined for greater achievements throughout the 21st century. For more information about AEOP, please visit


eCYBERMISSION is a web-based science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) competition for students in grades six through nine that promotes self-discovery and enables all students to recognize the real-life applications of STEM. Teams of three or four students are instructed to ask questions (for science) or define problems (for engineering), and then construct explanations (for science) or design solutions (for engineering) based on identified problems in their community. Students compete for State, Regional, and National Awards. The U.S. Army is committed to answering the Nation’s need for increased national STEM literacy and to expanding STEM education opportunities across the country to open doors to new career paths for American students that lead to a brighter tomorrow.

About NSTA

The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning, preschool through college. NSTA’s membership includes approximately 50,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business representatives, and others involved in science education.