CyberPatriot X Surpasses 1,000 Teams in Record-Breaking Time

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| Source: Air Force Association

ARLINGTON, Va., May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

The Air Force Association (AFA) today announced that CyberPatriot, AFA’s premier STEM education initiative, has surpassed 1,000 registered teams for the 2017-2018 CyberPatriot X National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. This milestone comes  just 37 days after the launch of registration, beating the previous record by 29 days.

Registration opened on April 1, 2017 for prospective coaches and mentors to sign up teams for the upcoming competition, which will begin in October. To date, teams from 48 states are already represented in the competition field, missing only Alaska and North Dakota. Last year, CyberPatriot IX broke all previous registration records after more than 4,400 teams signed up to compete from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hungary, Australia, Canada, and DoD Dependent Schools in Europe and the Pacific.

“The rate of growth that this program has seen from year to year is remarkable,” said CyberPatriot National Commissioner, Bernie Skoch. “We are excited to see new and returning  teams joining the competition and we hope the break even more records this competition season. CyberPatriot X is already off to a great start.”

CyberPatriot aims to inspire high school and middle school students to pursue careers in cybersecurity and other STEM disciplines critical to our nation's future. The program’s unique structure provides students hands-on learning about technology, emphasizing teamwork and leadership, and exercising critical-thinking skills.  The Air Force Association also provides its Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative and annual AFA CyberCamps through the CyberPatriot program.

How the Competition Works

A CyberPatriot team consists of a coach and two to six students enrolled in the same middle school, high school, or other approved youth or educational organization. CyberPatriot provides fundamental training materials and encourages coaches to work with technical mentors who register on the CyberPatriot website to volunteer to help train teams for competition. Neither coaches nor competitors need any special technical background, and the competition's structure is designed to keep students of all skill levels engaged throughout the season.

During the competition's preliminary rounds, teams compete online from their home locations on software that simulates real network environments IT professionals face. CyberPatriot places cybersecurity vulnerabilities in secure simulated networks, and competitors gain points by finding and fixing them. The competition has a tournament-style tiered structure, and teams advance based on scores from each round until the top 28 teams are identified. Those top qualifying teams then receive all-expenses-paid trips to the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition held in Baltimore, Md., each spring.

All high schools, middle schools, approved home school programs, JROTC units of all Services, US Naval Sea Cadet Corps squadrons, Civil Air Patrol squadrons, scouting units, Boys and Girls clubs, 4H clubs, and other approved youth organizations are invited to participate.

Supporters of CyberPatriot include Northrop Grumman Foundation, CyberPatriot's Presenting Sponsor, as well as Cyber Diamond sponsors AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, Cisco, Microsoft, 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 Air Force STEM, Air Force Reserve, American Military University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Leidos, and University of Maryland University College.

Click here to learn more about CyberPatriot or register for CyberPatriot X by October 4, 2017!

 

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.

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A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/d84f0750-bd65-4eb4-8dce-59f302859925

McKinnon Pearse
Air Force Association
7032475847
mpearse@afa.org