Middle school scientists claim first in state

  • Tuesday, May 9, 2017 1:08pm
  • News
Photo by Stuart Bassett                                From left, students Natalie Ballard, Anissa Randolph, Danelle Hays and their science teacher, Alan Bailey, show off certificates of the team’s first-place win in the eCYBERMISSION competition.

Photo by Stuart Bassett From left, students Natalie Ballard, Anissa Randolph, Danelle Hays and their science teacher, Alan Bailey, show off certificates of the team’s first-place win in the eCYBERMISSION competition.

Three young Oak Harbor scientists were recently honored for their scientific analysis of local pollution.

The U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program announced last week that the sixth-grade team of Natalie Ballard, Danelle Hays and Anissa Randolph took first place as the Washington state winner of the 15th annual eCYBERMISSION competition.

The Oak Harbor Middle School students got more than just recognition for the achievement. Each girl will receive $1,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds.

The team also has a shot at moving on to the national competition.

The eCYBERMISSION competition, administered by the National Science Teachers Association, promotes self-discovery and enables students to recognize the real-life applications of science, math, technology and mathematics, or STEM.

The competition challenges students in grades six through nine to develop solutions to real-world problems in their local communities.

Ballard, Hays and Randolph studied the effects that pollution in the environment has on plant life.

Alan Bailey, science teacher and team advisor, explained that the girls first researched the topic and possible solutions.

They decided the best way to address the problem was to identify known pollutant factors and test some of them to see how they affected plant life and plant growth.

“They developed their own scientific protocols and standards for these experiments,” he said in an email, adding that his role was to provide time and space for the experiments and answer a question here and there.

The girls finalized the project by writing about their process and the results of that process, then submitting their findings to the national judges.

“My hope is that they are able to use that excitement as motivation to continue as researchers and scientists,” he said. “They are outstanding young scholars and people.”

In the next round of the 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 June 26-30 in Washington, D.C., according to a press release.

The eCYBERMISSION competition is a web-based STEM competition 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.

“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,” the press release states.

“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,” the press release states.

More in News

Bowman Bay diver still missing

Local rescue teams searched for hours Sunday night looking for a 67-year-old… Continue reading

Suspicious botanist, invisible guests, satanic voicemail reported | Island Scanner

The following reports were compiled from calls made to the Island County… Continue reading

Photo by Heather Mayhugh
Stuart Peeples demonstrates how to enter Heather Mayhugh's wheelchair van. In recent months, while navigating the new Mukilteo ferry terminal, Mayhugh has struggled to unload her clients who need access to the restroom.
ADA concerns cited about new ferry terminal in Mukilteo

Advocates feel not enough thought went into improving the new terminal’s accessibility problems.

Bystanders perform CPR on grocery store shopper

Two men helped a fellow grocery shopper at Saar’s last week by performing CPR after he collapsed.

Oak Harbor business owner killed in crash

The owner of an Oak Harbor brewing company was killed in a motorcycle accident in Yakima County.

No serious injuries reported in Bayview Road accident

The drivers of two vehicles that collided in South Whidbey Saturday were not seriously injured.

Photo by Rebecca Powers
Apartment fire injures one, displaces nine

Nine people were displaced after a fire swept through an apartment building… Continue reading

Photo by Sara Hogarth
Crews put out grass fire

A possible mishap with a lawn mower sparked a half-acre fire on Green Valley Road on Friday morning.

Guns found buried under shed, in flower pot | Island Scanner

Sunday, June 27 At 9 a.m., an Eastpoint Drive resident reported that… Continue reading

Most Read