2017 – 2018 Competition Guidelines

Download the eCYBERMISSION Rules and Regulations here!

Welcome to the 2017-2018 eCYBERMISSION Competition! Please carefully review the competition rules and please do not hesitate to reach out to the eCYBERMISSION Mission Control help desk if you have any questions. Mission Control is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) Monday – Friday. Mission Control may be reached at 1-866-GO-CYBER (462-9237) or missioncontrol@ecybermission.com.

Table of Contents


1 - Code of Conduct

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Team Advisor and Student Responsibilities:

Once a team registers for eCYBERMISSION, they agree that they have read and will adhere to the following code of conduct:

  1. Team Advisors are responsible for the behavior and ethical conduct of their students, both inside and outside of the classroom. This includes, but is not limited to, postings in Discussion Forums, Chat Rooms, Team Talk, and social media, as well as during investigations conducted by the team (see below for information about testing on vertebrates, Mission Folder content, and during any events associated with eCYBERMISSION).
  2. Team Advisors are also responsible for verifying the validity of the team members (i.e. all team members are in the same grade and live in, or attend a school in, the state in which the team is competing; team members are U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents of the U.S.).
  3. Team Advisors and students are responsible for following safety rules and taking safety precautions throughout the entire experimental process including demonstrations at all levels of competition. This includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Wearing appropriate protective equipment such as goggles, gloves, close-toed shoes, etc.
    2. Safely storing and handling hazardous materials
    3. Treating any and all vertebrates (any animal with a backbone) ethically by following vertebrate testing regulations and guidelines and securing approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to the beginning of the experimentation.
    4. Following federal guidelines (Code of Federal Regulations 45 CFR 46) to protect any human research participants and the student researcher(s) (See Section 9).
  4. Students and Team Advisors may not be permitted to use any item(s) that might be determined by their school district to be banned, prohibited, or contraband.

Team Advisors and students must review and understand these statements while participating in the eCYBERMISSION competition.

  1. I understand the project my team members and I plan to work on (or are working on) must be original work and that the resources and references used in our project will be noted throughout our research. Additionally, all work on the project for the 2017-2018 competition began after April 1, 2017.
  2. I will not give out any personal or identifying information without my parents’ or guardians' permission, including, but not limited to, my name, e-mail address, home address, telephone number, parent's work address/telephone number, or the name and location of my school (other than the information required for registration).
  3. I will tell my parent or guardian right away if I come across any information that makes me feel uncomfortable. I will also tell my Team Advisor and ask them to inform eCYBERMISSION Mission Control.
  4. I will never agree to get together with someone I "meet" online without first checking with my parents. If my parent or guardian agrees to the meeting, I will be sure that it is in a public place and bring my parent or guardian along.
  5. I will treat other students, volunteers, eCYBERMISSION staff, and Team Advisors with respect while participating in eCYBERMISSION. This includes always using appropriate language and never being rude or disrespectful when interacting on Discussion Forums, Live CyberGuide Chats, Team Talk, social media, as well as during investigations conducted by the team or while attending any eCYBERMISSION event.
  6. I will conduct myself ethically and in compliance with the eCYBERMISSION competition rules stated below when using the Live CyberGuide Chats, Discussion Forums, Team Talk, Instant Messaging, and social media, as well as when conducting investigations or attending an eCYBERMISSION event.
  7. I understand that if I do not follow the guidelines of this Code of Conduct, my team members and I may be disqualified from the competition.

2 - General Competition Rules

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  1. Schedule and Deadlines
    1. The online registration period is open from early August 2017 through December 13, 2017. A complete team, three to four students and a Team Advisor, must be registered and assigned to a team by December 13, 2017, at 11:59PM Eastern Time, in order to compete in the 2017-2018 competition. After the registration deadline, teams may no longer register to participate in the current eCYBERMISSION competition unless the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) deems it necessary to extend the end of the registration period.
    2. The competition work may begin any time after April 1, 2017, but registration will not open until early August 2017. Teams have until February 28, 2018, at 11:59 Eastern Time, to submit their Mission Folders (all submission components) on the eCYBERMISSION website. Mission Folder content or attachments will not be accepted by other means. After this deadline, no other Mission Folders or Mission Folder attachments will be accepted. AEOP and eCYBERMISSION reserves the right to extend the deadline. Any changes to the deadline will be publicized on the eCYBERMISSION website.
    3. The Virtual Judging period ends March 30, 2018 and the Regional Judging period takes place April 23-27, 2018 (tentative, watch the website for any changes). Regional and state winners will be notified by mid-May. Scores submitted by the Virtual and Regional Judges are final.
    4. The National Judging & Educational Event (NJ&EE) will be held late June in the Washington, D.C. metro area. NJ&EE is a week of educational activities along with teams formally competing for National Awards. STEM-In-Action Grant recipients will also be invited to participate in NJ&EE.

3 - Team Make-up and Eligibility

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  1. To compete in eCYBERMISSION, participants must be part of a complete team. A complete team includes three or four students in the same grade, competing for the same state, and one adult Team Advisor who is over the age of 21. (Please see Section 5 for Team Advisor Eligibility Requirements). Team Advisors must assign students to a team by the close of registration on December 13, 2017. Since this is a web-based competition, there may be different situations as far as residency of students compared to where the school is located. The state the team competes for must be the state in which the school, organization, or group is located, be it brick and mortar OR virtual. All team members must be in the same grade and compete for the same state. Carefully read the following three scenarios to determine which scenario best fits your team(s).
    1. Students that are from the same state as their school must register the state of their school at registration.
    2. Students who attend the same school but reside in different states may compete on the same team, provided that they compete in the state where the school is located, not where the individual students reside. Students may not compete for more than one state.
    3. Students all live in the same state, but the school is in a different state. The team must register to compete in the state in which the school is located.
  2. All students and Team Advisors who wish to participate must register and have a complete team prior to the close of registration. A Team Advisor may register more than one team. All registered teams must be complete and registered by the close of registration on December 13, 2017.
  3. For competition purposes, the number of participants on a team is determined at 11:59PM Eastern Time on the registration deadline date (December 13, 2017). Teams may not add or drop students after this time. If the team number changes after registration is completed, the team will become disqualified.
    1. If a team of four students loses a member due to extenuating circumstances (proof of circumstances may be required) team status will be determined by eCYBERMISSION. Any team with less than three members will automatically be disqualified.
  4. Each student team member must make significant contributions for the success of the team, be a full participant in the development of the Mission Folder, participate in Regional Judging and attend NJ&EE in late June in order for the team to compete for a National Prize. If the original team (all team members determined at the time of registration excluding any exceptions granted as determined by eCYBERMISSION) cannot attend Regional Judging or NJ&EE because a student is unable to participate or attend, or has left the team, the team will not be eligible to compete and will forfeit its ability to compete for a Regional Prize or a National Title. If a student must leave before the completion of NJ&EE, the team must forfeit. The Team Advisor must be present at both Regional and National Judging for the team to be eligible to compete.
  5. The following rule only applies to dependents of military service members on active duty status as a courtesy to those who serve. Should a student of a military dependent relocate after a complete team is registered (composed of three or four students) and wishes to continue working with this team, they may do so as long as the student can significantly contribute to the team’s overall project. The Team Advisor should be able to verify that the relocated student contributed significantly to the final project.

4 - Student Eligibility Requirements

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  1. A team’s competing region is determined by the address of their school/organization.
  2. Students must be U.S. citizens* or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR)**, and must be officially enrolled in either sixth, seventh, eighth, or ninth grade at a U.S.-based public, private, or home school, Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) or a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school abroad. Students who are residing in one of the U.S. Territories, DoDEA, or DoDDS schools should use the proper registration code and should not use the "International" code unless their location is not represented.
  3. All U.S. citizens and LPR are eligible to participate in eCYBERMISSION. However, only those students with a valid social security number are eligible to receive any monetary award. For administration of awards, competition winners must provide the Social Security Number of the registered student and must be able to set up a minor-linked Treasury Direct Account (which will be kept confidential). eCYBERMISSION awards are distributed via U.S. Savings Bond through TreasuryDirect for the U.S. Department of Treasury. Students without a social security number cannot be issued a U.S. Savings Bond.

* The definition of a US citizen from the IRS website:

U.S. Citizen

  1. An individual born in the United States.
  2. An individual whose parent is a U.S. citizen.***
  3. A former alien who has been naturalized as a U.S. citizen
  4. An individual born in Puerto Rico.
  5. An individual born in Guam.
  6. An individual born in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
**Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) is defined as the following by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: "Any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing the in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. Also known as "Permanent Resident Alien," "Resident Alien Permit Holder," and "Green Card Holder". F1-Visa holders are not eligible for the eCYBERMISSION competition.

***The Child Citizenship Act, which applies to both adopted and biological children of U.S. citizens, amends Section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to provide for the automatic acquisition of U.S. citizenship when certain conditions have been met. Specifically, these conditions are:

  1. One parent is a U.S. citizen by birth or through naturalization;
  2. The child is under the age of 18;
  3. The child is residing in the United States as a lawful permanent resident alien and is in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.
U.S. National

An individual who owes his sole allegiance to the United States, including all U.S. citizens, and including some individuals who are not U.S. citizens. For tax purposes the term "U.S. National" refers to individuals who were born in American Samoa or were born in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands who have made the election to be treated as U.S. nationals and not as U.S. citizens.


5 - Team Advisor Eligibility Requirements

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To sponsor an eCYBERMISSION team, the Team Advisor must meet each of the below requirements.

  1. A Team Advisor must be at least 21 years of age.
  2. Team Advisors must be one of the following: a teacher, coach, counselor, leader in a youth organization, or parent who meets the below requirements. A parent of one of the team members may serve as a Team Advisor, while also meeting the other eligibility requirements of a Team Advisor.
  3. Team Advisors must have access to the Internet and an active email in order to communicate with eCYBERMISSION Mission Control.
  4. Team Advisors can mentor as many student teams as they choose, but must ensure that students are only participating with one team of students per competition year.

6 - Participant Responsibilities

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  1. Student Responsibilities
    1. Students should conduct themselves ethically and in compliance with the eCYBERMISSION Competition rules and online etiquette guidelines when using the Mission Folder, Live CyberGuide Chats, Discussion Forums, Team Talk, social media, as well as when conducting investigations and surveys or participating in any eCYBERMISSION event.
    2. Students are only allowed to participate as a member of one team. Duplicate registrations are not accepted by eCYBERMISSION.
  2. Team Advisor Responsibilities
    1. Team Advisors are responsible for the behavior, safety, and ethical conduct of themselves and their students, both inside and outside of the classroom. This includes, but is not limited to Mission Folder content, Live CyberGuide Chats, Discussion Forums, Team Talk, social media, during investigations and while conducting surveys or while attending any eCYBERMISSION event. Team Advisors are responsible for demonstrating and encouraging respect and teamwork within their own teams and towards others in the eCYBERMISSION competition. Should a team qualify to travel to the National Judging & Educational Event, responsibilities for the Team Advisor would also include being responsible for the students at all times during NJ&EE beginning when the team leaves their home until the time the team returns from the event (unless otherwise stated).
    2. For teams to be eligible to compete in eCYBERMISSION, Team Advisors must ensure and verify that all students on a team are from the same grade and compete for the same state (see 3-1 above for clarification). A student may only be on one team and that team may only submit one Mission Folder.

7 - Mission Challenges and Mission Folders

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  1. Mission Challenges
    1. Teams must select a problem that is related to one of the Mission Challenges listed on the eCYBERMISSION website. Teams may change their Mission Challenge during the competition any time prior to the Mission Folder submission deadline. There is no requirement to notify eCYBERMISSION about a change in the Mission Challenge.
  2. Mission Folders
    1. Utilizing either Scientific practices or the Engineering Design Process, teams must select a Mission Challenge and answer all of the questions in their Mission Folder. Answers must be entered in the space provided or as an attached document. Each field must contain a written statement (for example, "See attached document.") in order to submit a completed Mission Folder. Information about each of the processes can be found on the eCYBERMISSION website. Teams are encouraged to reference supporting files, such as graphics, photos, or tables, for the Virtual Judges to review. Supporting files must be uploaded to the Mission Folder and must be clearly named and referenced in the text fields. The maximum allowable size for uploaded files is 10 MB each. Files NOT acceptable for uploading include, but are not limited to, .exe, .mdb, .scr, .tif, and Google documents. Teams cannot attach video files, but it is recommended that any videos that pertain to the Mission Folder be uploaded to a video sharing website and that the link to the video be provided in the Mission Folder.
  3. Completing and Submitting the Mission Folder
    1. Complete Mission Folders must be submitted by 11:59 PM EST on February 28, 2018. A completed entry contains answers to all Mission Folder questions, any supporting files (this includes IRB Approval form and Survey Approval form), and must be electronically signed by the Team Advisor.
    2. Team Advisors will be asked to verify the start date of their project before a team can complete their Mission Folder.
    3. Teams may continue a project from a previous year. However, significant new work must be documented including new experiments and/or engineering design process steps. New results must be achieved. All new work on the project must begin no earlier than April 1, 2017. Students may use the same topic as in previous years (provided they were not Regional Winners in previous eCYBERMISSION competition years), but must do completely new research and experimentation for the 2017-2018 competition. Failure to abide by this rule will result in team disqualification. If the work is the continuation of a previous year’s project or the same topic, the Mission Folder from the previous year must be attached to this year’s Mission Folder.
    4. Teams may NOT duplicate or replicate a project submitted by another team in a previous competition year. Students may focus on the same problems, but submitted work must contain new research, new solutions, and new outcomes.

Please ensure each of the subsequent steps is followed in order to submit and complete a Mission Folder for each of the levels of competition:

  1. State Winners:
    1. Team Advisors are required to submit the Mission Folder prior to the submission deadline (February 28, 2018).
    2. Once the Team Advisor submits the Mission Folder, it can be withdrawn by the Team Advisor if changes need to be made. It must be re-submitted by the Team Advisor by the submission deadline (February 28, 2018) in order for it to be judged.
    3. Once the submission deadline has passed, a panel of Virtual Judges will review the Mission Folders based on the competition's judging criteria. Once all Mission Folder submissions are scored eCYBERMISSION will announce potential State Winners.
    4. Potential State Winners must be validated by the specified due date in order to be confirmed as a State Winner and be considered for Regional Judging. A team is considered validated after Team Advisors confirm that each member of the team participated, each team member is confirmed to be a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), and eCYBERMISSION confirms that the team has complied with all competition rules.
    5. All U.S. citizens and LPRs are eligible to participate in eCYBERMISSION. However, only those students with a valid social security number are eligible to receive any monetary award. For administration of awards, competition winners must provide the Social Security Number of the registered student and must be able to set up a minor-linked Treasury Direct Account (which will be kept confidential). eCYBERMISSION awards are distributed via U.S. Savings Bond through TreasuryDirect for the U.S. Department of Treasury. Students without a social security number cannot be issued a U.S. Savings Bond.
  2. Regional Finalists:
    1. The top three teams from each grade in each region will be notified of their opportunity to compete at the regional level.
    2. The Regional Finalist Teams will be required to test the system requirements of the selected platform for Regional Judging during a designated time prior to the beginning of Regional Judging. If a team does not test the system requirements prior to Regional Judging, the team is subject to disqualification or point penalty.
    3. All team members and the Team Advisor must be present during Regional Judging to be eligible for a Regional Finalist Award. If any team member is not present, the team forfeits the Regional Finalist Award and is disqualified from Regional Judging.
    4. The top three teams in each grade in each region will participate in be Regional Judging in late April. Regional Judging consists of a four-minute presentation (via video chat) followed by a four-minute question and answer session with the Regional Judges in order to help the judges determine Regional Winners and ensure that the team projects were completed by all participating team members. The Regional Judges will have reviewed the Mission Folders in advance of the live Regional Judging Event. Announcement of National Finalists will be made by the eCYBERMISSION and the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP).
    5. All U.S. citizens and LPRs are eligible to participate in eCYBERMISSION. However, only those students with a valid social security number are eligible to receive any monetary award. For administration of awards, competition winners must provide the Social Security Number of the registered student and must be able to set up a minor-linked Treasury Direct Account (which will be kept confidential). eCYBERMISSION awards are distributed via U.S. Savings Bond through TreasuryDirect for the U.S. Department of Treasury. Students without a social security number cannot be issued a U.S. Savings Bond.
  3. National Finalists:
    1. If a team becomes a National Finalist, a National Judging & Educational Event (NJ&EE) packet will be emailed to the Team Advisor. At that time, it is the team’s responsibility to review and abide by the contents of the packet. The team will be required to submit all documents required for the National Judging &Educational Event by the specified due dates.
    2. All team members and the Team Advisor must be able to attend the entire NJ&EE. If a team becomes a National Finalist, the team will need to prepare a 4-minute verbal presentation for the National Judges followed by a judge-led 9-minute question and answer session. Teams will also deliver a 4-minute presentation during the National Showcase.
    3. If a team chooses to bring their prototype to the National Judging & Educational Event, the total value of the prototype cannot exceed $250 (U.S. dollars). For teams that develop a website or app as part of their project, please note that the website and/or app developed by the team is the prototype and the technology used to display the website or app is not considered part of the prototype. Teams wishing to demonstrate a website or app during National Judging will have the opportunity to request the appropriate technology from eCYBERMISSION, but will not be allowed to utilize their own personal devices. The total cost of developing a website or app prototype must not exceed $250 (U.S. dollars). The Team Advisor must include an itemized list and receipts for the prototype as part of the registration process.
    4. All U.S. citizens and LPRs are eligible to participate in eCYBERMISSION. However, only those students with a valid social security number are eligible to receive any monetary award. For administration of awards, competition winners must provide the Social Security Number of the registered student and must be able to set up a minor-linked Treasury Direct Account (which will be kept confidential). eCYBERMISSION awards are distributed via U.S. Savings Bond through TreasuryDirect for the U.S. Department of Treasury. Students without a social security number cannot be issued a U.S. Savings Bond.

8 - Contents of Application and Entry

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  1. General
    1. Each team member must make significant contributions to the success of the team and be a full participant in the development of the final Mission Folder.
    2. While students are encouraged to seek guidance from parents, Team Advisors, friends, published sources, scientists, engineers, CyberGuides, other collaborators, and the Internet, the students must do their own work on the Mission Folder and must not permit any person (other than student members of the team) to perform such work.
    3. Teams must not copy the words or images of others, except as permitted in section 8.2 "Use of Copyrighted Materials."
    4. The Mission Folder content must be unique and directly relate to the Mission Challenge. Students should identify a problem within the community and either investigates the problem through the use of scientific practices or design a solution through the use of the engineering design process.
    5. The Mission Folder, as well as other communications submitted to eCYBERMISSION, must be written in English.
    Failure to meet these requirements could result in the team being disqualified from the competition.

  2. Use of Copyrighted Materials
    1. Entries must be the original work of the students. The word "material" as used in this section includes text, images, and data included in the entry or otherwise published on the Internet.
    2. An entry may include supporting materials that were created by another person if an accurate citation of the quoted material is included in the entry. If citations are not included, this is a form of plagiarism. Plagiarism will result in the Mission Folder being disqualified. In addition, no entry may include material that was created by another person without permission to quote such materials by the creator or owner of such intellectual property, (such as unpublished documents or documents that explicitly state obtain permission to use) and a copy of such permission must be made available to eCYBERMISSION.
    3. Quotations from materials printed in newspapers, magazines, or books are permissible if an accurate citation is included.
    4. No entry may include any trademarked material(s) without the written permission from the owner(s) of the trademarked material(s).
  3. Previous Competition Entries
    1. All work on the project must begin after April 1, 2017. Students may use the same topic as in previous years (provided they were not Regional Winners in previous eCYBERMISSION competition years), but must conduct completely new research and experimentation for the 2017-2018 competition. New research includes new data collection, new resources, new experimental designs, and/or new prototypes. If the project is a continuation of a previous submission, the previous submission must be attached. Failure to abide by this rule will result in team disqualification.
    2. A team may submit a project that they entered in another science competition (such as Christopher Columbus, FIRST Robotics, etc.) as long as research and experimentation for the Mission Folder began no earlier than April 1, 2017.

9 - The Use of Vertebrates and Human Subjects - The Institutional Review Board (IRB)

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An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee that, according to federal law, must evaluate the potential physical or psychological risk of research involving human and animal (vertebrates) subjects. All proposed human and animal research must be reviewed and approved by an IRB BEFORE experimentation begins. This includes any surveys or questionnaires to be used in the project. *NOTE: Vertebrate animals, as covered by these rules, are defined as live, non-human vertebrate mammalian embryos or fetuses, tadpoles, bird or reptile eggs within three days (72 hours) of hatching, and all other nonhuman vertebrates (including fish) at hatching or birth. Mission Folder projects involving vertebrate testing, defined as living animals with backbones and spinal columns (this includes humans,) are limited to the following:

  1. Data that is publicly available and obtainable from a reputable, professional source.
  2. Data that is gathered through observation of the subject in its natural habitat and does not pose a health risk to the subject by introducing a foreign object or stimulant.
  3. Vertebrate testing that has been reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). Any project that involves testing on humans or vertebrate animals must have an IRB form attached to the Mission Folder. Please note: The IRB Approval Form must be completed, signed, and dated prior the start of testing. If the IRB Approval Form is completed, signed, and dated after the start of testing, the team and Mission Folder are subject to disqualification from the competition.
    1. An IRB is a committee that has been formally designated to approve, monitor, and review research involving vertebrates with the aim to protect the rights and welfare of the research subjects. eCYBERMISSION does not participate in or sponsor the IRB process in any way. A team’s IRB must consist of a minimum of three members. The IRB must include:
      1. The school principal or administrator
      2. The school science fair coordinator or school science teacher (NOT the students’ classroom teacher or Team Advisor) and
      3. One of the following: a psychologist, psychiatrist, medical doctor, or medical professional (this can be the school or district licensed nurse).
    2. An IRB must give approval for any tests conducted on vertebrates BEFORE those tests take place. Teams submitting IRB forms which are completed, signed, and dated after their Mission Folder start date will be disqualified. This includes any testing done on, or conducted by, humans (i.e. exercise, trying different foods, etc.) or any living creature that has a backbone. If an IRB is not available locally, the school can create their own using the information provided with the form below (Section 13 – eCYBERMISSION Forms). Please note that the IRB form and all supporting documents must be attached to the Mission Folder when it is submitted.
    3. Per IRB rules, any tests that involve human subjects in any way (tasting, smelling, exercising, changing diets, interacting, etc.) require an IRB approval. Even if a test does not SEEM dangerous it is not permitted (without IRB approval) if there is any outside stimulus introduced as a result of the project. Observations made of subjects in their natural habitat and do not pose a health risk to the subject by introducing a foreign object or stimulant ARE permitted without IRB approval.
  4. Surveys intended to document the opinions or preferences of a study group.
    1. Surveys must be approved by the team’s school administration. Each team conducting a survey must fill out the eCYBERMISSION Survey Approval Form and an IRB Approval Form (see Section 13 – eCYBERMISSION Forms). The Survey Approval Form and IRB Approval Form must be completed, signed, and dated prior to the team administering the survey. If the forms are completed, signed, and dated after the survey was given, the team and Mission Folder are subject to disqualification from the competition. In addition, the form must be uploaded as part of the Mission Folder.

10 - Disqualification

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  1. Disqualification of Applications, Entries, Participants, or Teams
    1. The eCYBERMISSION staff may decide to disqualify a team or disqualify an entry if it is of the opinion that:
      1. There is a violation of any portion of the rules. Violations include, but are not limited to, failing to submit required IRB and Survey Approval forms that are signed and dated prior to testing; falsification of student information, violating the eCYBERMISSION Code of Conduct; a team consists of less than three completely registered team members; plagiarism; or inappropriate conduct or misuse of the eCYBERMISSION website or server by gaining access to areas that the user does not have explicit right to use or by using the server for purposes not related to the development and deployment of an entry. For example, a team, individual team member, or user will be immediately disqualified if the team, individual team member, or user gains unauthorized access to an area of the server other than the area designated for students or teams.
      2. If an entry contains materials that appear to violate any of the competition rules, eCYBERMISSION, at its discretion, may disqualify the entry in its entirety, remove the materials from the entry which violate such rules or requirements, and/or withdraw an award that has been previously paid out to the team.
    2. A final decision to disqualify a team or an entry may only be made by eCYBERMISSION and the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP).
  2. Disqualification of Virtual Judges
    1. In order to avoid an actual or apparent conflict of interest, a Virtual Judge must not be closely related to team members or a Team Advisor of a team that the Virtual Judge is screening, evaluating, or judging. Accordingly, no one may act as a Virtual Judge with respect to an entry of a team if he or she is closely related to any member or Team Advisor of that team, or otherwise feels that he or she might be, or appear to be, biased. Parents, Team Advisors, and CyberGuides cannot also serve as Virtual Judges in the same competition year. Violations of this rule may result in disqualification for the team.
    2. A final decision to disqualify or remove a Virtual Judge may only be made by eCYBERMISSION.

11 - Competition Changes and Intellectual Property

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  1. Extensions of Contest Deadlines
    1. AEOP and eCYBERMISSION may extend any competition deadline, and will post any such extension on the eCYBERMISSION website.
  2. Ownership of Intellectual Property and the Rights and Duties of Parties
    1. An entry will remain the property of the submitting team. By submitting an entry, each individual team member grants eCYBERMISSION a perpetual, irrevocable, fully paid-up, and royalty free right and license to use the entry in whole or in part for any purpose whatsoever, beginning with the submission of the entry and continuing until September 20, 2025. Such right and license includes, but is not limited to, improving, modifying, making derivative works, enlarging, distributing, and making such entry available for use by any person or organization. During such license period eCYBERMISSION will also keep such entry on its website, or any successor website, and can distribute such entry to any person or organization in any manner.
    2. eCYBERMISSION shall have the right, but not the obligation, to take actions it deems appropriate to prevent misuse of an entry. The team members and their parent(s) or guardian(s) may take such steps or actions to prevent misuse of the entry, as submitted, as they deem appropriate.
  3. Finality of eCYBERMISSION Decisions
    1. Each decision made by eCYBERMISSION, with respect to any matter related to any eCYBERMISSION contest, shall, in all respects, be final and binding on the team member(s), his, her, or their parent(s) or guardian(s), the school(s), and the Team Advisor, and shall not be subject to review.
  4. Modification of the Rules
    1. The eCYBERMISSION and AEOP reserves the right to modify the rules to the extent that is fair and appropriate. Modifications will be posted on the eCYBERMISSION website.

12 - Awards

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  1. General Award Terms
    1. eCYBERMISSION will adhere to all applicable tax laws and regulations relating to the payment of awards, including any applicable required withholding. All taxes on awards, if any, will be paid by the winners. Before presentation of awards, all winners must supply eCYBERMISSION Mission Control with their Social Security Numbers, (which will be kept confidential) in addition to the awardees’ parents and/or guardians opening a treasury direct account (minor-linked account) to process the U.S. Savings Bonds awards upon request. Students and Team Advisors who do not provide correct and complete information by the deadline provided are seen as refusing to comply with the rules and regulations of the competition and are forfeiting their claim to an award.
    2. There is a one-year statute of limitations on receiving awards. If incorrect personal information (i.e. Social Security Number, Treasury Direct Account Number, etc.) is provided to eCYBERMISSION that leads to the inability to purchase the savings bond, it is the responsibility of the award recipient (or parent/guardian) to contact eCYBERMISSION within one year of winning in order to rectify the situation. Any claims made after one year of winning the award will not be honored and the winner will forfeit any and all awards.
  2. State Awards
    1. First Place State Winning Teams will receive up to $1,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond (Matured Value) per student.
    2. Second Place State Winning Teams will receive up to $500 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond (Matured Value) per student.
  3. Regional Awards
    1. All Regional Finalists Teams will receive up to $1,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond (Matured Value) per student.
    2. First Place Regional Winning Teams will additionally receive up to $2,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond (Matured Value) per student.
    3. Students on teams that score First-Place in Regional Judging will attend the National Judging & Educational Event, paid for by eCYBERMISSION. This year’s NJ&EE will be in late June of 2018. Exact location, dates, and times will be announced later.
  4. National Awards
    1. First Place National Winning Teams will additionally receive up to $5,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond (Matured Value) per student.
  5. Honorable Mention
    1. Third Place Teams at each grade level in each state will receive honorable mention recognition.
  6. eCYBERMISSION State Winning Teams
    1. First and Second-Place Winning Teams, at the state level of competitions, will be subject to validation as a legitimate team. Validation of the team includes reviewing the Mission Folder for any rules violations and confirming that award recipients are U.S. Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents. If a team cannot be validated per competition rules, then ALL team members on that team will forfeit their position as a First or Second Place Winner. Monetary awards, in the form of a U.S. Savings Bond, will be awarded to all team members with a valid Social Security Number. If a member of the team does not have a valid Social Security Number, that person forfeits their monetary award. If a First-Place Winning Team at the state level is not legitimate, then the Second-Place Winning Team may have the opportunity to earn the First-Place State level awards. State Winning Teams must obtain a minimum average score of 300 during the Virtual Judging phase in order to be eligible for prizes.
  7. eCYBERMISSION Regional Winning Teams
    1. Every student and Team Advisor on the original State Winning Team that advances to the regional level must be present and participate during regional judging in order for the team to qualify as a possible National Finalist. If any student or Team Advisor is not present, the team will be disqualified and will forfeit the Regional Finalist Award.
  8. eCYBERMISSION National Winning Teams
    1. Every National Finalist must contribute to their team’s national competition preparation of the team's display and presentation, as well as every team member and Team Advisor participate in the entire duration (every activity and event) of the National Judging & Educational Event (NJ&EE). Teams who do not meet these requirements cannot attend NJ&EE and are not eligible for National Awards.
    2. If National Finalists are not able to attend NJ&EE and therefore cannot make a complete team, then the remaining team members will not be allowed to compete and ALL team members will be asked to forfeit their Regional Award. If the National Finalist Team is unable to represent their region at NJ&EE, the next highest scoring team in the region may be invited to replace that National Finalist Team. Additionally, replacement teams may have the opportunity to earn Regional awards if they are chosen to represent the region at NJ&EE. The team’s Team Advisor is required to accompany all students through the duration of their travel to NJ&EE and all students/Team Advisors traveling to NJ&EE must be traveling from and returning to the same point of origin as their team members at the same time. National Finalist students cannot travel without the Team Advisor to and from NJ&EE unless given express permission to travel with their parents.
    3. Only travel to and from the team’s state of origin for National Finalist Teams and their Team Advisor will be provided for arrivals and departures to NJ&EE.

13 - eCYBERMISSION Forms

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