Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cybersecurity skills send Patrick Henry JROTC team to Washington, D.C.

A team of students from Patrick Henry High School is headed to the Washington, D.C. area March 26-30 to compete in the national championship round of CyberPatriot VI — The National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.Patrick Henry team
CyberPatriot is a unique educational competition that challenges students to resolve real-life cybersecurity situations faced by industry professionals. Created in 2009 by the Air Force Association, CyberPatriot provides students hands-on learning about securing computer networks while exciting, educating, and motivating them toward careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Led by retired Navy Senior Chief John Wood, the Patrick Henry High School team is one of 14 finalists for the competition’s All Service Division. The CyberPatriot competition has historically consisted of two high school divisions, with public, private, and home schools competing in the Open Division and Junior ROTC units, Naval Sea Cadet Corps, and Civil Air Patrol squadrons competing in the All Service Division. This season, however, CyberPatriot invited middle school students to participate in a third division: the first ever Middle School Division. In all, more than 1,500 teams registered to participate in CyberPatriot VI, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, and U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools in both Europe and the Pacific.

This season, the All Service Division began with 872 registered teams. After two challenging online qualification rounds, the Patrick Henry Navy Junior ROTC team was one of only 44 teams to advance to the semifinals in January. After an exceptional performance in the semifinals, the Patrick Henry NJROTC team was recently named one of 14 All Service Division national finalists and will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the CyberPatriot VI National Finals Competition at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. During the competition’s only in-person round, teams will compete to defend virtual networks and mobile devices from a professional aggressor team.

The National Finalists will also face-off in three additional competition components: the Digital Cyber Crime Scene Challenge and the Cisco Networking Challenge, both of which return from previous seasons, and the Digital Forensics Challenge. These extra challenges broaden the cybersecurity experience for students and expose teams to new elements of the many career opportunities available to them.

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, Cisco, Microsoft, Raytheon, USA Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Cyber Gold Sponsors URS, Splunk, and Symantec; and Cyber Silver Sponsors Air Force Research Laboratory, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Leidos, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and University of Maryland University College.

For more information about CyberPatriot, go to