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Competition Offers Teens Insight into Cyberdefense

August 18, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower
Apply Now for CyberPatriot III

Apply Now for CyberPatriot III

The Air Force Association (AFA) is now collecting applications for CyberPatriot III-a nationwide competition that aims to educate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and to foster the next generation of national security professionals in the United States.

CyberPatriot started in February 2009 in conjunction with AFA's Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida. Organizers wanted to branch out across the U.S., and last year, CyberPatriot II began with representatives from nearly 200 high schools and 41 states participating in a virtual opening round (SIGNAL Connections coverage). The event ended with an Air Force Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps team from Utah taking home top honors.

This year, the CyberPatriot III initiative, presented by Northrop Grumman, will feature two parallel competitions-the All Service Division for up to 500 JROTC units and the Open Division for up to 500 non-JROTC high schools nationwide.

To join the competition, a high school teacher must sign up along with a team of five students. Then, the teams and their approved coaches will square off online using special software and programs provided by CyberPatriot to solve network vulnerabilities. The top teams compete again in a series of online rounds to determine the finalists who receive all-expenses-paid trips to Washington, D.C., for the championship round at the Gaylord National Convention Center during AFA's Cyber Futures Symposium and Technology Exposition in April 2011. In addition, the winners will receive scholarships.

The registration deadline is October 8. For more information, visit www.uscyberpatriot.org.

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