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Chopade twins, Somu win eCybermission Nationals

MADISON – The eighth-grade team of Neha Chopade, Puja Chopade and Pranav Somu succeeded at winning the 2018-2019 eCybermission Nationals.

In its 17th year, eCybermission is a web-based science, technology, engineering and math or STEM program. The U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program sponsors eCybermission and National Science Teachers Association administers the program.

Designed to cultivate student interest in STEM, eCybermission encourages students in grades six through nine to develop solutions to real-world problems in their local communities. 

The 2018-19 eCybermission Nationals convened in Reston, Va. on June 17-20. Twins Neha Chopade and Puja Chopade from Discovery Middle School (who will enter Bob Jones High School) and Pranav Somu from Liberty Middle School (who will enroll at James Clemens High School) are team members. Beena Chopade served as parent coach.

The Chopade sisters and Somu worked under the guidance of Dr. Shubham Chopade. Their team, the ‘Antastic’ Acids, proposed an innovative solution to multilayered food packaging that cannot be recycled. The process involves separating the packaging’s individual layers so that each component can be recovered in its original form.

During their trip, the Madison students visited Washington D.C. to share their project with U.S. Congressman Mo Brooks and Sen. Doug Jones at their offices.

“The creativity and enthusiasm that students bring to the eCYBERMISSION competition every year is truly inspiring,” Christina Weber said. Weber is Cooperative Agreement Manager for the army’s Educational Outreach Program. “The national winners, who have made it through this rigorous process, represent the best in the country and should take great pride in their success.”

Twenty finalist teams vied for the national title, after officials narrowed the 5,097 teams that entered the 2018 competition. Since the program’s inception in 2002, eCYBERMISSION has awarded state, regional and national competition winners more than $10 million in U.S. Savings Bonds.

Each member of the national finalist teams received a total of $4,000 in U.S. E.E. Savings Bonds (matured value). Each winning team member received a total of $9,000 U.S. E.E. Savings Bonds (matured value).

At the weeklong national event, eCybermission provides educational opportunities and team building in hands-on STEM workshops led by Army scientists and engineers. The National Inventors Hall of Fame hosted a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and a tour of the National Mall.

Mayor Paul Finley will recognize the Chopade twins and Somu at Madison City Council’s meeting on July 8.

For more information, email missioncontrol@ecybermission.com or visit ecybermission.com. 

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