AFA's CyberPatriot Launches No-Cost Cyber Security Education Program for Elementary Schools

Jul 30, 2015, 11:00 ET from Air Force Association

ARLINGTON, Va., July 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Air Force Association's CyberPatriot Program Office announced today the release of its Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative, a new program designed for K-6 students to educate them on the importance of online safety and to equip them with skills to protect themselves on the Internet.

The Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative is a component of the Air Force Association's CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program, made possible by the generous support of its Presenting Sponsor, the Northrop Grumman Foundation.

"The Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative will equip educators and parents to teach students about cybersecurity at a young age," says Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot National Commissioner.  "Students are active online at increasingly younger ages, and AFA sees a need to equip them with the skills critical to their online safety. We are delighted to offer this opportunity at no cost to the schools and other organizations."

The CyberPatriot Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative includes several interactive modules designed to excite K-6 students about computers and teach them basic practices for staying safe online. The program encourages students to apply cyber ethics principles in their online interactions and to understand the importance of cybersecurity in their everyday lives.

Materials for the CyberPatriot Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative were funded through a special grant from Riverside Research.  Modules include the Security Showdown, an introduction to basic personal security practices for K-3 students, Clean_Up, in which 4th-6th grade students take the helm of a virus removal program protecting a system from viruses, worms, and Trojan horses, and DangerBots, a challenge where students must put their cybersecurity skills to the test to defeat imminent threats in a virtual city.

Participation in the initiative is completely free for schools and organizations for the digital copy of the programs.  Schools and organizations may also elect to request a physical version of the kit, which includes a DVD, printed instructor's guide, and stickers for students, also at no cost. 

CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association to inspire high school, middle school and elementary school students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future.  The program features the highly successful CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition in which teams across the United States and Canada, as well as from Department of Defense Dependent Schools abroad, compete in a series of online rounds for a chance to earn an all-expenses-paid trip to the in-person CyberPatriot National Finals Competition in Baltimore, MD in the spring. There, students have the opportunity to win scholarships and network with industry leaders.

Students in the CyberPatriot program also gain valuable knowledge from the expertise of CyberPatriot's many supporters, including the Northrop Grumman Foundation, CyberPatriot's Presenting Sponsor. CyberPatriot's other sponsors include Cyber Diamond sponsors AT&T Federal 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, Leidos, and University of Maryland University College.

Request for free Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative activity kits may be submitted at the CyberPatriot website.

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