Spotlight on the Sixth Grade, Southwest Regional First Place Team

Three sixth graders from The Mirman School in Los Angeles, Calif., received a first-place award in this year’s national eCYBERMISSION competition. With this award, each team member will receive a $3,000.00 U.S. EE Savings Bond, a certificate of recognition from the U.S. Army and an expenses-paid trip to the National Judging and Educational Event in Baltimore, Md., in June to present their final projects.

The “Hardheads” team, comprised of students Jonathan Berman, Benjamin Kotzubei and Austin Veseliza, and led by Team Advisor Deborah Beckmann, was recognized by judges for its investigation into the number of concussions and other head injuries affecting the United States. The team’s focus was to decrease the rate and chance of concussions and other head injuries by identifying materials that could be used to produce a safer, more form-fitting helmet that protects athletes’ heads more effectively than the helmets being used currently.

Throughout their experiments, the team found that there are other materials that are more effective in shock absorption that can potentially be placed in athletic helmets rather than the current foam found inside athletic helmets. After the team conducted their research and experiments, they discovered that gel rubber was the best form of protection against gravitational force. In the future, the team would like to test a material on the outside of athletic helmets to see if the different materials will benefit energy absorption.

For a complete listing of the 2009-2010 eCYBERMISSION regional winning teams, click here.


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