CyberPatriot is a unique cyber security competition produced by the Air Force Association (AFA), a nonprofit organization headquartered near Washington, D.C. Its structure provides students hands-on learning while competing virtually against their peers and introduces many to the idea of cyber security as a profession.
Teams of two to five students, with an approved coach (usually a teacher), learn to defend computer networks from real-life computer threat scenarios. In the preliminaries, hundreds of teams compete online to solve vulnerabilities in simulated computer networks. The teams then compete again in a series of online rounds to determine the top 24 teams who earn all-expenses-paid trips to the National Finals Competition in Washington, D.C. in March 2012.
"CyberPatriot gives high school students an inside look at an exciting field while building skills highly relevant to a successful future, such as teamwork, leadership, and critical-thinking," said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot Commissioner. "This competition provides an exciting environment for students, and at the same time, joins the nation in attempting to bolster interest in STEM education."
CyberPatriot is a member of the U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC), a national coalition of public-private sector entities collaborating to enhance the workforce with the next generation of cyber security professionals through skill development activities, mentoring, and resources, and the facilitation of scholarship, internship and employment opportunities.
CyberPatriot also offers support and technical expertise from industry leaders, including CyberPatriot's presenting sponsor Northrop Grumman and founding partners SAIC and the CIAS at the University of Texas-San Antonio.
Now in its fourth phase, CyberPatriot IV is open to all high schools, accredited home school programs, Civil Air Patrol units, and Junior ROTC units around the country. Educators can learn more about CyberPatriot and sign up at www.uscyberpatriot.org. Information is also available from the CyberPatriot staff at [email protected]
The AFA is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA has over 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing 120,000 members. Visit AFA www.AFA.org.