ARLINGTON, Va., March 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Air Force Association today announced that the Northrop Grumman Foundation has renewed their commitment as presenting sponsor of AFA's CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program. The Northrop Grumman Foundation, presenting sponsor of the program since 2010, pledged $5.4 million dollars to extend their support through 2019.
Created by the Air Force Association, CyberPatriot seeks to inspire students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. More than 2,100 teams in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, and Department of Defense Dependent schools abroad registered for the 2014-2015 season of competition, representing an impressive 40 percent growth to the field from last season. The teams of middle and high school students competed in a series of online rounds challenging them to find and fix cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated networks to determine finalists for all-expenses-paid trips to the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition to be held March 12-14 at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. A detailed list of the 28 National Finalist Teams is available here.
"The demand for cyber defenders in today's workforce is distressingly large and growing," said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot National Commissioner. "Like few others, Northrop Grumman understands that feeding the STEM pipeline is a team effort. In addition to the generous financial support Northrop Grumman provides our program, many of the company's employees directly contribute to training our nation's next generation of cyber defenders through the CyberPatriot volunteer mentor program. We are indebted to the Northrop Grumman Foundation and are grateful for their commitment to working with us to address this very important issue through mutually promoting STEM education."
Through the support of Northrop Grumman, CyberPatriot has greatly expanded in recent years with the introduction of the Middle School Division to competition in 2013, the development of the AFA CyberCamp program last summer, which will be available nationwide this spring, and the creation of the Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative to launch later this year. CyberPatriot also partnered with Cyber Security Challenge UK and Northrop Grumman to extend the competition to the United Kingdom this year under the name CyberCenturion.
"CyberPatriot has been a model public private partnership," said Sandra Evers-Manly, president, Northrop Grumman Foundation. "Together we're addressing a national imperative and developing a pipeline of talented cyber defenders to keep our global networks and data safe. We couldn't be more pleased with the AFA's execution of CyberPatriot which has contributed to the program's tremendous growth and its ability to reach out to underrepresented youth populations. We are proud to continue our support to this critical cyber STEM initiative."
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 to include presenting sponsor: Northrop Grumman Foundation, 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 Air Force Reserve, 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