eCybermission Virtual Science Fair

I am honored that ESF is one of three SUNY campuses to be invited to partner with the SUNY system and the New York Academy of Sciences in a pilot project funded, in part, by the Army Educational Opportunity Program (AEOP) and the Battelle Memorial Institute.

Consistent with our longstanding commitment to engage middle school students in STEM education and career pathways, the eCybermission program is a virtual science fair that engages students in STEM fields by asking them to identify and propose a solution to a problem in their own community.

Syracuse City School District (SCSD) 8th grade students will work in teams of 3 or 4 students, under the Chrissupervision of their teacher and a team mentor (graduate student), to develop and submit a project.  That project, submitted online, will be judged and will compete for state, regional, and national recognition and rewards.

Our goal is to engage seven ESF graduate students to volunteer as mentors for these teams.  Mentoring will entail 1.5 – 2 hours generally every other week from the beginning of October to the end of February. Mentors will visit our partner school to work with the students and provide guidance on their projects. On non-school visit weeks, mentors may, for example, respond to e-mails, and direct students toward appropriate resources.

Teams and projects will be registered in December and submitted by mid-February 2017.  This will result in a time commitment of approximately 30-35 total hours.  Transportation costs will be provided (or we will help to arrange transportation to the school and back to campus).

Some examples of successful projects from previous years include: Designing a hearing device to notify hearing-impaired people of danger; Removal of mosquitoes without chemical pesticides; and Treating wounds in a post-antibiotic-resistant world.

I am very excited for this opportunity to engage and inspire SCSD students in STEM, along with the opportunity to have our graduate students serve as part of the ESF Science Corps and to work as front-line role models and mentors for young people in our community.

Thanks go to the ESF Graduate Student Association (especially Tyler Shields and Caitlin Slife), Dr. Beth Folta (EFB), Tim Pede (environmental engineering Ph.D. student), the SCSD, and the Outreach team for all of their thoughtful, capable and active support – Thank You!

Dr. Chuck Spuches, ESF Outreach


ESF Graduate Students:  As a first step, please e-mail me ( and Dan Collins ( to let us know of your interest. We will hold an information session(s) in the next week.

Comments are closed.