ARLINGTON, Va., June 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Air Force Association (AFA) today announced that CyberPatriot, AFA's premier STEM education initiative, has reached 1,000 registered teams for the CyberPatriot IX National Youth Cyber Defense Competition in record-breaking time. Registration is open until October 5th.
Registration launched in April for prospective coaches and mentors to sign up teams for the upcoming competition to begin in October. To date, teams from 46 states and 6 countries are already represented in the competition field. Last year, CyberPatriot VIII broke all previous registration records after more than 3,300 teams signed up to compete from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and DoD Dependent Schools in Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.
"These educators, coaches, and students continue to surprise us with their enthusiasm and commitment to STEM education, specifically in the field of cyber – and that excitement is evident, based on our registered teams," said Bernie Skoch, AFA's CyberPatriot National Commissioner. "The need for cyber defenders is real, both in the present and especially for our future. We are pleased to be making a positive impact through these competitors."
CyberPatriot, created by the Air Force Association, aims to inspire high school and middle school students to pursue careers in cyber security and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. CyberPatriot's unique structure provides students hands-on learning about technology, emphasizing teamwork and leadership, and exercising critical-thinking skills. The Air Force Association also provides its Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative and annual AFA Cyber Camps through its CyberPatriot program.
How the Competition Works
A CyberPatriot team consists of a Coach and two to six students enrolled in the same middle school, high school, or other approved youth or educational organization. CyberPatriot provides fundamental training materials and encourages coaches to work with technical mentors who register on the CyberPatriot website to volunteer to help train teams for competition. Neither coaches nor competitors need any special technical background, and the competition's structure is designed to keep students of all skill levels engaged throughout the season.
During the competition's preliminary rounds, teams compete online from their home locations on software that simulates real network environments IT professionals face. CyberPatriot places cybersecurity vulnerabilities in secure simulated networks, and competitors gain points by finding and fixing them. The competition has a tournament-style tiered structure, and teams advance based on scores from each round until the top 28 teams are identified. Those top qualifying teams then receive all-expenses-paid trips to the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition held in Baltimore, Md., in April 2017.
All US high schools, middle schools, approved home school programs, Junior ROTC units of all Services, US Naval Sea Cadet Corps squadrons, Civil Air Patrol squadrons, scouting units, Boys and Girls clubs, 4H clubs, and other approved youth organizations are invited to participate.
Supporters of CyberPatriot include Northrop Grumman Foundation, CyberPatriot's Presenting Sponsor, as well as Cyber Diamond sponsors AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, Cisco, Microsoft, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Cyber Gold sponsors Facebook, Riverside Research, Splunk, and Symantec; and Cyber Silver sponsors Air Force Reserve, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Leidos, and University of Maryland University College.
Click here to learn more about CyberPatriot or register for CyberPatriot IX by October 5, 2017!
The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage.
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SOURCE Air Force Association