ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Air Force Association (AFA) announced today that the 2015-2016 CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition has registered 3,379 teams representing 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 South Korea. This marks a 55% increase in team registrations from last season's CyberPatriot VII.
"The growth and expansion of the CyberPatriot program has been astounding and we couldn't be more proud to be influencing young people around the world to learn more about STEM education, specifically in cyber," said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot National Commissioner. "Drawing all teams is exciting, and we are particularly pleased to see more middle schools, more female teams, and more students of every background in the competition. We look forward to the season ahead and wish all of our competitors well in their battle to earn their way to the National Finals Competition."
Beginning with a practice round this month, CyberPatriot VIII teams will compete from their home locations in a series of online qualifying rounds that challenge them to find and fix security vulnerabilities in a variety of simulated networks. Top teams from the online rounds will travel all-expenses-paid to Baltimore, Md., for the CyberPatriot VIII National Finals Competition April 10-14, 2016. There, national finalists will have the opportunity to compete for national honors and scholarships, as well as the opportunity to network with industry sponsors.
"Congratulations to our AFA partner on another record-setting year," said Diane Miller, director, CyberPatriot programs for Northrop Grumman. "We are so proud to be the presenting sponsor of CyberPatriot and thrilled with the excitement it's generated among our youth for careers in STEM, and specifically cyber defense. As our nation - and the world - strives to meet the growing demand for qualified cyber professionals, CyberPatriot is doing an outstanding job answering that call and building a highly-skilled workforce of tomorrow."
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 and to help students be safe on line. In addition to the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, the program features AFA CyberCamps and AFA's Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative.
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, Leidos, 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.
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SOURCE Air Force Association