When four students from Pin Oak Middle School in Bellaire, Texas formulated an idea for their eCYBERMISSION project, they did not know at the time that it would create a big impact not only in their school, but across their state as well.
The “Super Sports Squad” team was rewarded with the 2009 eCYBERMISSION National title for eighth grade for their work to improve the motor skills of special needs students through the use of modified sports programs. The team, comprised of students Kate Beittenmiller, Emily Christians, Maddie Cooper and Emily White, each received $8,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds at the 2009 National Judging & Educational Event in Washington, D.C. in June.
Led by Team Advisor Jamie Scott, the team adapted the physical education program used by their school to develop a program designed to teach basic motor skills such as hand-eye coordination and balance through four modified sports: kickball, tee ball, basketball and soccer. Over the course of 11 weeks, the team worked closely with their school’s special needs students and saw an overall improvement of 200-300 percent in their fine and gross motor skills.
Their program was so successful that the team has been approached by other organizations such as the Houston Independent School District to create a booklet that can be used by physical education teachers to implement with their own special needs students. The team has completed a formal instructional manual, which they have distributed across the state of Texas in hopes that it will be utilized in all school districts.