A team from Coconino High School’s JROTC Program, comprised of students from both Coconino and Flagstaff High Schools, in Flagstaff, AZ recently concluded an exceptional round of competition in the eighth season of CyberPatriot – the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.
Established by the Air Force Association, the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program was created to excite, educate, and motivate students toward careers in cyber security and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future.
CyberPatriot’s core program – the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition – challenges teams of two to six students across the United States, Canada, and from DoDD schools abroad, to find and resolve cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated environments.
Top teams from the preliminary online rounds win an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the live National Finals Competition, where students compete for national recognition and scholarships.
The CyberPatriot field is divided into three divisions – the Open Division for public, private, and home school teams, the All Service Division for JROTC, Civil Air Patrol, and Naval Sea Cadet Corps teams, and the Middle School Division.
Based on the results of two preliminary rounds, CyberPatriot VIII high school teams were categorized within their divisions as Platinum, Gold, or Silver Tier teams, with Platinum Tier teams representing the highest scoring teams.
In all, 3,379 teams registered to compete in CyberPatriot VIII nationwide, including twenty-five teams from Arizona.
Led by Coach Don Morris, the team of JROTC students excelled in the CyberPatriot VIII State Round held January 29-31, demonstrating teamwork, critical thinking skills, and technical knowledge key to a successful career in cybersecurity. The team’s performance earned it a spot in the Silver Tier Regional/Category Round to be held February 19-21, 2016.
The Cyber Team’s Captain, Cadet Sarah Norris, states, “Leading the CyberPatriot Team has been a unique experience allowing me to interact not only with other students from Coconino High School, but also with some students from Flagstaff High School, which is a pleasure I would not otherwise experience. I have learned not only basic computer skills, but also more advanced technological skills and leaderships styles that will most definitely benefit me in my later life.”
Following the Regional/Category Round and Middle School Division Semifinals Round February 19-21, top teams in the Open and All Service Divisions’ Platinum Tier and the top three Middle School Division teams nationally will advance to the CyberPatriot VIII Finals Competition in Washington, D.C.