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KMS students dominate statewide eCYBERMISSION STEM Competition

May 2, 2017
KMS students dominate statewide eCYBERMISSION STEM Competition
By Noelle H. Lowery
Science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics education are important components of the curriculum throughout Kodiak Island Borough School District.
This was evident during the recent 15th Annual eCYBERMISSION STEM Competition, where three teams from Kodiak Middle School — a sixth-grade team and two eighth-grade teams — placed first, first and second in their respective statewide contests.
eCYBERMISSION is one of several science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives sponsored by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP), which encourages students nationwide to develop solutions to real-world problems in their communities. The program is administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), promotes self-discovery and enables students to recognize the real-life applications of STEM. Students compete for state, regional and national awards for up to $9,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, valued at maturity.

The KMS sixth-grade team of Gavin Denning, Joseph Opheim and Hunter Simeonoff worked together to research and conduct experiments with oil eating microbes. The eighth-grade teams researched and conducted experiments with beach debris — Madison Stauffer, River Limchantha and Logan Izzy — and mycorrhizae fungi — Emily Lorring, Tyreke Navarro. and Krista Simpler. The teams submitted their Mission Folder which contained the official write-up of their projects through the eCYBERMISSION website to be evaluated and scored by volunteer virtual judges. First-place teams received $1,000 per student in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, and second-place teams received $500 per student in U.S. EE Savings Bonds.

“The U.S. Army applauds all the students for challenging themselves to the eCYBERMISSION competition in efforts to improve their communities,” said Louie R. Lopez, AEOP Cooperative Agreement Manager. “Congratulations to all the state winning teams, and we encourage students to continue building their interest and knowledge in STEM.”

“eCYBERMISSION not only encourages students to be both creative and scientific, but also requires them to think critically while developing innovative solutions to some of their communities most challenging issues,” said Dr. Mary Gromko, NSTA President. “We congratulate the state winners and commend all of the team advisors for engaging and empowering their students to make a real difference in the world around them.”

In the next round of the eCYBERMISSION competition, a panel of judges will evaluate the top three scores from each region in each grade level. Sixty regional finalist teams will compete to advance as one of 20 national finalists, moving on to compete at the National Judging & Educational Event (NJ&EE), June 26-30, in Washington, D.C.

For more information about the eCYBERMISSION competition, go to