Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Community Impact

I had the great pleasure to attend some of the National Judging and Educational Event sessions on Wednesday and I was amazed at what I witnessed.

Early in the afternoon, I sat with teams as they waited to be interviewed by members of the Mission Control team. All of the finalists were calm, cool and collected—many of them laughing and joking moments before their interview. It was obvious that they had quickly made friends with fellow participants. The atmosphere seemed less like a competition and more like a fun fieldtrip to Washington, DC.

Later that day was the National Showcase. This was the opportunity for all regional winners to present their Mission Folders to the public. The showcase room was outfitted with all of the regional winners’ Mission Folder displays and the room was filled with family, friends, volunteers and U.S. Army officials. Here, the finalists’ game faces were on.

One by one, the teams confidently presented their Mission Folders and walked us through their research and experiments. Each team’s Mission Folder effectively used the scientific method to test their theories, all of which tackled an issue within their community that could be positively impacted by the findings.

What’s remarkable is that the eCYBERMISSION regional finalists were not satisfied with simply proving or disproving their hypothesis—they took action to make the positive changes in their communities based on their results. They developed outreach campaigns, they spoke with community leaders and government officials, they raised awareness about their issue and, in some cases, positively changed human behavior in their communities!

Read more about the finalists and national winners of eCYBERMISSION and the positive impact they have made on their communities.

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