Get Ready to Become a Cyber Patriot

The high school cyber defense challenge, CyberPatriot, is gearing up for its new season. Registration for CyberPatriot IV is now open, inviting students from all U.S. high schools or accredited home school programs to participate in this competition.

Registration ends October 8, 2011.

Established by the Air Force Association (AFA), CyberPatriot was created to inspire high school students toward careers in cyber security or other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

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The program offers valuable skills for students, providing hands-on learning about technology and cyber defense, emphasizing teamwork and leadership, and exercising skills in problem-solving and critical thinking.

CyberPatriot III had 662 teams registered in its two divisions, representing 48 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Japan, Korea and Guam. Public, private, parochial and home schools registered in the Open Division, while Junior ROTC units of all Services and Civil Air Patrol squadrons filled the All Service Division.

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After months of preparation and numerous rounds of competition, Civil Air Patrol’s Orlando, Florida Cadet Squadron was crowned the “All Service” champion and Red Bank Regional High School in Little Silver, New Jersey was the “Open” champion. Members of each division’s top three teams received awards and scholarships.

In the preliminary rounds, students learn to defend computer networks from real-life computer threat scenarios. Participants compete online as their assignment is to seek out flaws in simulated computer systems while keeping specified computer functions working.

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CyberPatriot has a tournament-style tiered structure, culminating in an all-expenses-paid trip to the national championship in March 2012.

The only cost to teams is a $350 entry fee which provides access to the software, participant materials and travel expenses for teams qualifying for the finals.

CyberPatriotis presented by Northrop Grumman, with founding partners SAIC and the CIAS at the University of Texas-San Antonio.

More information can be found at

The AFA is a nonprofit organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA has over 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing 120,000 members.

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Rakesh Raman