Air Force Association Announces 28 Teams to Compete in CyberPatriot Youth Cyber Defense Competition

Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot National Commissioner, AFA

Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot National Commissioner

The Arlington, Va.-based Air Force Association announced Jan. 26 the 28 teams selected to compete at the national finals of its CyberPatriot youth cyber defense competition. Those selected will travel to Washington, D.C. March 11-15 to compete for the title of national champion, as well as scholarships and other prizes.

The 13 open division, 12 all service division and three middle school division finalists advanced through online qualifying rounds. Finalists represent schools and other organizations from Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Manitoba, Canada.

CyberPatriot VII began in October 2014 with more than 2,100 teams made up of from two to six students
registered from all 50 states, Canada and DoD-dependent schools in Europe and the Pacific.

“All CyberPatriot VII Competitors should be exceptionally proud of themselves. Our program experienced a 40 percent increase in total registrations in 2014, making this year’s competition the most challenging yet,” AFA’s CyberPatriot National Commissioner Bernie Skoch said. “This year’s National Finals will host previous finalists, as well as schools, brand new to the competition. We are pleased that our program is exciting young people about STEM education and preparing cyber defenders for a workforce that is in dire need of the skills they are developing in CyberPatriot.”

The CyberPatriot VII National Finals Competition will be held at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Teams will compete to defend virtual networks and mobile devices from a professional aggressor team.

The National Finalists will also face-off in four additional competition components:

  • Digital Cyber Crime Scene Challenge from the Digital Forensic Consortium
  • Cisco Networking Challenge
  • Leidos Digital Forensics Challenge
  • Mobile Application Challenge, hosted by AT&T

These additional challenges expose teams to new elements and skill sets of the many career opportunities available to them.

“Being a CyberPatriot means that you’re not only honing your technical skills, but you’re also developing leadership, teamwork, and collaboration skills, critical to any employer,” Northrop Grumman CyberPatriot Programs Director Diane Miller said. “CyberPatriot is truly answering a national imperative, and we’re proud to see these students be inspired to become tomorrow’s cyber defenders.”

CyberPatriot expanded its reach with the introduction of the Middle School Division to competition in 2013, the development and successful piloting of the AFA CyberCamp program last summer — which will
be available nationwide this spring — and the creation of the Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative anticipated to launch later this year. CyberPatriot also partnered with Cyber Security Challenge UK and Northrop Grumman to extend the competition to the United Kingdom this year under the name CyberCenturion.

CyberPatriot, an education initiative established by the Air Force Association and presented by the Northrop
Grumman Foundation, is a cyber defense competition designed to inspire students toward futures in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

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