Peoria Unified Medical, Engineering and Technology (MET) Professional Academy Cybersecurity and Technology students began training for the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot Program, the nation’s premier Cyber Youth Education Program that seeks to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics opportunities through an annual cyber defense competition and other educational initiatives.
Junior and seniors from the MET Cybersecurity and Technology Department began competing in the first round Friday against similar teams across the country. Students have from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to complete the first round of the competition, which concentrates on Windows and Linux system administration.
The second round takes place December 4-6 and includes Cisco Networking Technologies. Scores will be combined from the first two rounds to determine which tier they qualify for (Platinum, Gold and Silver.) Only Platinum qualifies for nationals. This is the first year that a team from Peoria Unified will be competing.
The CyberPatriot Program features an online competition, in which teams across the United States and Canada, as well as from Department of Defense Dependent Schools abroad, compete in a series of rounds for a chance to earn an all-expenses-paid trip to the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition in Baltimore, Md., in the spring. There, students have the opportunity to win scholarships and network with industry leaders.
“Our students are preparing for this prestigious CyberPatriot event in our MET Cybersecurity lab. Two teams will analyze and configure a server farm donated from the Peoria Unified Information Management and Technology (IMT) Department,” said MET Cybersecurity and Technology Instructor Martin Bencic. “The donated equipment had to be taken out of production because of the age and performance, however; it will serve students in accomplishing many of the tasks not only for this competition but for years to come.”
Ethan Jensen, a first year MET student and a Liberty High School junior is leading the server farm team. The second team, led by Tamara Juntiff, a second year MET student and Liberty High School senior, is spearheading the team that is preparing a dozen switches and routers that will be used to simulate a large network to practice skills need to defend and hack into other competing teams’ networks.
CyberPatriot greatly benefits from the support and technical expertise of its presenting sponsor, the Northrop Grumman Foundation. Other 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, Riverside Research, Splunk, and Symantec; and Cyber Silver sponsors the 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.
Peoria Unified, located in the Northwest Valley, serves more than 37,000 students in 34 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 95 percent high school graduation rate. It is one of the largest unified school districts in Arizona and prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.