KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Three Kadena Middle School seventh-graders each earned a $3,000 savings bond in a Web-based science, math and technology competition, according to a DODDS-Okinawa release Tuesday.

In the regional portion of the U.S. Army-sponsored eCYBERMISSION, the KMS Bad Boyz team — Jonathan Pickens, Kenneth Tobisch and Alexander Wilson — took second place for the Southeast Region, according to the competition’s Web site.

More than 6,300 students in grades six through nine competed, selecting real problems from their communities and proposing possible solutions, the site said.

The Kadena team studied the problem of traffic safety, Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Okinawa spokeswoman Laura Stoller said in the release.

The team hypothesized that if drivers knew they were being monitored, they would “more closely observe speed limits,” Stoller said. The three students proved their premise in an experiment on Kadena Air Base.

The Kadena team’s win was bittersweet for the students and staff of the middle school because the team’s coach, Jim Weaver, died earlier this spring, Stoller said.

“This is just one example of his dedication to his students and his willingness to find unique and innovative ways to pique their interest in science,” Mary Anne Harris was quoted as saying in the release. Harris, also a teacher at the middle school, helped the team finalize its submission.

A team of four students from Commander William C. McCool Elementary/Middle School, a Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary School in Santa Rita, Guam, also placed in the competition, according to the eCYBERMISSION Web site.

The Typhoon Girls, consisting of seventh-graders Sarah Berg, Teale Phillips, Caitlyn Smith and Karessa Underwood, made up one of four teams recognized as seventh-grade criteria winners for the Southeast Region, according to the site.

Each girl was awarded a $2,000 savings bond.

More than $4.6 million in savings bonds has been awarded to students since eCYBERMISSION began in 2002, according to the the eCYBERMISSION Web site. Of that total, some $20,000 has gone to DODDS students in Japan and $8,000 to Guam-based students.

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