From New England to Alabama, Ohio to Texas, and even California, the eCYBERMISSION staff has enjoyed traveling across the country this fall to spread the word about the competition.

Recently, Micah and Rachael visited the great state of Tennessee to meet with current and potential eCYBERMISSION participants.

We flew from Baltimore, MD to Knoxville, TN on Thursday, Nov. 5. After landing, we traveled to nearby Maryville Middle School in Maryville, TN.

With nearly 40 Team Advisors advising 800 students on over 200 teams, Maryville Middle School leads the competition this year as the school with the most participation! Karen Dunn, a previous Team Advisor and Maryville Middle School teacher, is leading the coordination of the school-wide competition this year.

We enjoyed meeting the Team Advisors face-to-face and we truly enjoyed interacting with the students, who had plenty of questions about their participation in the competition!

We then traveled three and a half hours to Franklin, TN, to prepare for the Tennessee Science Teachers Association (TSTA) conference.

Feeling adventurous, we explored historic downtown Franklin and visited local-favorite Puckett’s Grocery for dinner. We were so excited to be treated to a live performance by a four-person string band while eating dinner!

The TSTA conference was attended by over 200 middle school and high school science teachers from Tennessee, as well as pre-service college students from nearby universities. Throughout the two-day conference we spoke to approximately 70 teachers who were all very interested in the competition and a handful of college students and professionals who were intrigued by the opportunity to volunteer as a Virtual Judge. On day one, we had the opportunity to give an in-depth presentation on the eCYBERMISSION competition. At the end, we divided the attendees into teams and played eCYBERMISSION Trivia, a conference attendee favorite!

At the close of the conference, we traveled to “the most musical city in the world,” Nashville, TN, known as Music City to many. One of our stops while there was the Wild Horse Saloon, a world-famous restaurant which has been featured on Country Music Television and MTV. The charm of Nashville is its abundance of live performances, and we were blown away by the amazing bands at every venue, even the airport!

On our last day in Tennessee we visited the Opryland Hotel at the recommendation of one of the conference organizers. This landmark Nashville hotel is amazing inside, with nine acres of indoor gardens, cascading waterfalls and an indoor river filled with water from more than 1,700 rivers, lakes and oceans from all over the world, including 32 from our home state of Maryland!

While touring the Opryland Hotel, we ran into Linda Cline, a six-year eCYBERMISSION Virtual Judge, who was in Nashville for a conference of her own!

With the goal of promoting STEM education to America’s youth in mind, the trip to Tennessee for the TSTA conference was a resounding success. We look forward to cultivating relationships with all of the potential Team Advisors and Volunteers that we met in Franklin and we hope to return to Nashville next year for the annual National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference.

Check out the eCYBERMISSION Flickr page to see photos from the eCYBERMISSION trip to Tennessee, as well as other eCYBERMISSION photos.


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