ARLINGTON, Va., April 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Air Force Association announced today its plans for a CyberPatriot virtual National Finals Competition, to be held Saturday, May 2 in lieu of a planned in-person event in Bethesda, Md. The change was made in response to COVID-19, which precluded the in-person gathering.
Originally scheduled for March 20-22, all but one national finalist team's members will be able to compete simultaneously from the safety of their homes via virtual private network connections to CyberPatriot servers.
In addition to the competition on May 2, CyberPatriot will host several other virtual events to enrich the virtual National Finals experience and to preserve as many elements as possible from past in-person events:
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CyberPatriot sponsors will provide brief remarks regarding cyber career opportunities available in their companies or inspirational messages about what brought employees to the cybersecurity field.
A virtual Opening Ceremony will include video remarks by AFA President Lt. Gen. Bruce "Orville" Wright, USAF (Ret.), and CyberPatriot's Diamond-level sponsors.
At 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 3, the Awards Ceremony will be livestreamed with the winners of the CyberPatriot XII National Finals Competition announced. The Ceremony will include remarks from AFA Chairman of the Board Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (Ret.) Gerald R. Murray. Video broadcasts from key sponsors will announce winners in the Open and Middle School Divisions. Maj. Gen. Kevin B. Kennedy, Assistant Deputy Chief Information Officer, Digital Transformation and Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Cyber Effects Operations, will announce the winners in the All Service Division (JROTC, CAP, US Naval Sea Cadet Corps).
"We are thrilled that we were able to provide a virtual competition for these young and very skilled cyber defenders," said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot National Commissioner. "Each of them has earned the honor of being named a national finalist by distinguishing themselves as the very best of the best in the most competitive rounds of competition in our history. We thank our volunteer coaches and mentors, our AFA volunteers, and our generous sponsors, and notably our Presenting Sponsor, the Northrop Grumman Foundation. They all continue to make National Youth Cyber Education Program successful, even as we forge our way through the current pandemic. Their support is making a huge difference in our successful efforts to shape the future STEM workforce of our nation."
The 28 National Finalist teams advanced through extremely competitive online qualifying rounds to earn the distinction of being among the handful of teams nationwide in a field of nearly 7,000 teams who registered this season. Finalists represent schools and youth organizations from California, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Manitoba (Canada).
A full list of the National Finalists is posted on the CyberPatriot website.
The CyberPatriot XII competition season began in October 2019 with 6,760 registered teams. After multiple rounds of rigorous online challenges, the Open Division and All Service Division teams were divided into three tiers: Platinum, Gold and Silver. The teams then competed within their tiers for state awards and advancement to the Semifinal Round, but only teams in the top Platinum tier were eligible to advance to the National Finals Competition.
CyberPatriot, the nation's largest and fastest growing youth cyber education program, is AFA's flagship STEM program dedicated to strengthening cyber skills among students. The program features the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition for high school and middle school students, AFA CyberCamps, an Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative, the CyberPatriot Literature Series, and CyberGenerations, a program promoting senior citizen cyber awareness.
Supporters of CyberPatriot include the Northrop Grumman Foundation, CyberPatriot's Presenting Sponsor, as well as Cyber Diamond sponsors AT&T, Boeing, Cisco, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Microsoft; Cyber Gold sponsors Air Force Reserve, BNY Mellon, Facebook, Symantec, and the USAA Foundation; and Cyber Silver sponsors Air Force STEM, American Military University, Capital One, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Leidos, Mastercard, University of Maryland Global Campus, and VMware.
To learn more about CyberPatriot, please visit AFA's CyberPatriot website www.uscyberpatriot.org.
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.
SOURCE Air Force Association