Cisco Continues Partnering with CyberPatriot for the Advancement of STEM

Dec 18, 2014, 07:00 ET from Air Force Association

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Air Force Association today announced that Cisco renewed their support for CyberPatriot, the National Youth Cyber Education Program, as a Cyber Diamond Sponsor. Cisco is a longtime contributor to CyberPatriot, providing equipment, employee mentors for participants, and hosts the Cisco Networking Challenge during the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition.

Cisco is a leading manufacturer of Internet protocol (IP)-based networking products and services. Their partnership with CyberPatriot began in 2012.

In 2013, more than 50 Cisco employees volunteered to mentor CyberPatriot participants, teaching students about networking security skills and offered their technical skills during CyberPatriot Finals. Cisco's Matching Gift program contributed dollars/hour for volunteer hours recorded in support of this effort.

Building on its commitment to CyberPatriot in 2014, Cisco has established a unique Virtual Networking Academy specifically tailored to support the Cisco Networking Challenge curriculum. Cisco's NetSpace portal, a robust learning management system that supports its well-established Networking Academy program, was easily customized for CyberPatriot student competitors, and allows Cisco to administer the event remotely and onsite. Coinciding with the start of the CyberPatriot VII competition year, all CyberPatriot coaches, mentors and competitors have access to this customized curriculum, as well as other Networking Academy training materials.

"CyberPatriot and its participants have a valued relationship with Cisco. Cisco and its employees have dedicated many volunteer hours to support CyberPatriot's mission, and have done so with genuine purpose to help students learn about cyber security and the important role network defense plays," said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot National Commissioner.

Cindy DeCarlo, Cisco's Executive Sponsor for CyberPatriot activities said, "Cisco is committed to inspiring more people to pursue STEM education and careers. Through mentoring, IT training, and support for schools and nonprofits, we are working to increase the pipeline of STEM talent around the world. CyberPatriot is one of the nation's best examples of driving enthusiasm and commitment for STEM within our schools. Cisco is proud to be supporting CyberPatriot."

The 2014-2015 CyberPatriot competition registered more than 2,175 teams from all 50 states, Canada and DoD Dependent Schools in Europe and the Pacific. CyberPatriot is beginning its 7th competition season with a 40 percent increase in total registrations from last year, reaching thousands of students in the United States and beyond.

CyberPatriot, the nation's largest and fastest growing youth cyber education program, is AFA's flagship STEM initiative dedicated to strengthening cyber skills among American youth. Students in the program gain valuable knowledge from the expertise of CyberPatriot's many supporters, including the Northrop Grumman Foundation, CyberPatriot's presenting sponsor. Other program sponsors include Cyber Diamond sponsors AT&T Federal and the AT&T Foundation, Cisco, Microsoft, USA Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Cyber Gold sponsors Facebook, URS, Riverside Research, Splunk, and Symantec; and Cyber Silver sponsors Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Leidos, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and University of Maryland University College.

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.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, LinkedIn, and YouTube!

SOURCE Air Force Association