ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Air Force Association (AFA) announced recently the 28 National Finalist teams that will compete at the CyberPatriot XII National Finals Competition in Bethesda, MD., March 20-22, 2020. Teams will travel all-expenses-paid to compete for scholarships and the title of National Champion.
The 12 Open Division, 13 All Service Division, and three Middle School Division national finalist teams advanced through extremely competitive online qualifying rounds to earn the distinction of being the handful of teams nationwide in the national finalist field of teams. They represent schools and other 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 can be found here.
"We are thrilled to welcome 28 teams of very young and very skilled cyber defenders to the final event of the CyberPatriot XII season," said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot National Commissioner. "Each of them has earned the honor of being a national finalist by distinguishing themselves as the very best of the best in the most competitive rounds of competition in our history. We cannot thank enough our volunteer coaches and mentors, our AFA volunteers, and our generous sponsors who continue to make the program what it is today. Their support is making a huge difference in our efforts to shape the future workforce of the nation."
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.
"Northrop Grumman celebrates with all the teams who participated in CyberPatriot XII and congratulates the National Finalists. The excitement we see in participants and the commitment of coaches, mentors, adult leaders, and volunteers across the United States are what fuel the continued growth of this impactful program," said Diane Miller, director of Global Cyber Education and Workforce Initiatives at Northrop Grumman. "A strong, diverse cybersecurity workforce is key to our nation's security and global economic prosperity. We're very excited CyberPatriot participants pursue STEM and cyber education and career opportunities at a higher rate than the national average. With 40 percent of CyberPatriot participants coming from culturally diverse backgrounds and 23 percent females, the program is filling the pipeline today with the talent we need tomorrow. We look forward to welcoming the National Finalists and their coaches to the CyberPatriot XII National Finals Competition!"
At this year's National Finals Competition, teams will compete to defend virtual networks and mobile devices from the red team -- a professional aggressor team comprised of representatives of several of the organizations who sponsor CyberPatriot. The National Finalists will also face-off in two additional competition components, including the Cisco NetAcad Challenge and the AT&T Mobile Device component, both of which return from previous seasons. These extra challenges help broaden the students' cybersecurity experience and expose teams to new elements of the many career opportunities available to them.
If you are interested in attending the competition on March 21 (all day) or the awards banquet on March 22 (6:30 PM), please register here.
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