Volunteers for eCYBERMISSION [a web-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition for 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade teams] play an integral part in supporting and helping to build students’ interest STEM. During the past competition year, team “Power Up” (a 9th-grade team from Jenks, Oklahoma) sought to use the kinetic energy captured through gears, turned by revolving doors in high traffic areas, to power LED lights. Their national winning project was an innovative way to address the alternative energy solution of crowd harvesting and yield costs savings for their community.
Volunteers Spark Innovation
Working with the eCYBERMISSION teams that create these innovative project are volunteers who spark the teams’ engines and encourage them to explore STEM. Who are these volunteers? People like Army Sergeant Robert Hollins, who serves as a power station mechanic stationed in Hawaii. As a mechanic, Sgt. Hollins maintains the engines that produce large amounts of power for various applications—running lights for buildings, air conditioning, and water pumps.
When Sgt. Hollins is not working, he volunteers as an eCYBERMISSION Virtual Judge and CyberGuide. When he first started volunteering, he served as a Virtual Judge for two years while on post as a medical laboratory specialist conducting bio-research.
“As a Virtual Judge, I often times saw the pitfalls some of the teams were going through and I wondered how teams could be steered toward putting out more insightful project results,” said Sgt. Hollins. “This is what led me to become a CyberGuide, where I could actually interact with the teams and provide insightful answers to a variety of questions. Being a CyberGuide allowed me to assist teams with crafting a better report for their Mission Folder.”
“I know people do this for a particular benefit, but I do it because I have a love for science and learning,” said Sgt. Hollins. “I see eCYBERMISSION as a development tool for kids to use their minds and to see that spark of light shine while building interest in STEM.”
Army Sergeant Robert Hollins serves as a power station mechanic in Hawaii. When he’s not working with students online, he takes his love of science outdoors, biking and taking in the sites of Hawaii. The beautiful climate, water, and land make every moment enjoyable for day-to-day adventures, including snorkeling and hiking.