Three Naperville-Area students named national winners at virtual STEM competition

Team Urica with the trophy after winning first place at eCYBERMISSION STEM competition
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Three Naperville-Area students were named national winners in the ninth-grade category at the 21st eCYBERMISSION National Judging & Educational Event.

eCYBERMISSION is a virtual STEM competition for sixth to ninth-grade students put on by the U.S. Army that focuses on identifying community problems, then researching and trying to solve them.

The competition took place from June 26-29 at the Delta Hotels Hunt Valley in Hunt Valley, Maryland. More than 1,800 teams from around the country participated in this year’s competition with 20 of those teams making it to the finals. Team Urica was one of those teams that got the chance to present their project to a panel of senior scientists and engineer judges.

About Team Urica

Team Urica is made up of three ninth graders from Metea Valley and Neuqua Valley High Schools: Nidhi Sagaram, Samil Sharma, Viraj Vyas, and led by team advisor Bhavna Sharma.

The group’s project focused on developing a preventative solution for hyperuricemia, an elevated uric acid level in the blood, by using plants with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic properties.

According to a press release from eCYBERMISSION the group designed prototypes, conducted experiments, and analyzed results until they came up with a product that is safe to consume and prevented uric acid build-up, which earned them first place in the ninth-grade category.

The Army Educational Outreach Program’s (AEOP) vision is to foster a nation of STEM-inspired change makers, problem solvers, and innovators. The initiative of these National Winners, and of all eCYBERMISSION students, to use STEM to address real problems in their communities is a testament to that vision,” said Christina Weber, AEOP Cooperative Agreement Manager.

Awarded for their hard work

Each student on the winning teams was presented with a $10,000 U.S. EE Savings Bound at maturity.

“Congratulations to the eCYBERMISSION National Winners. I am so inspired by these students, their unique and diverse perspectives, and innovative ideas to solve problems in their communities and the world at large by using science and engineering,” said Erika Shugart, Executive Director and CEO of the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA).

Photo courtesy: eCYBERMISSION

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