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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Commonwealth Governor's STEM Academy Hosts CyberPatriot Competition

Round one of the CyberPatriot V open division competition will begin this weekend at the New Commonwealth Governor’s STEM Academy at Chantilly High School. Ten local high school teams are scheduled to compete from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 17, for a chance to earn a trip to the national finals in March 2013. Chantilly High School is a Fairfax County public school.
 
Established by the Air Force Association (AFA), CyberPatriot is the nation’s largest high school cybersecurity challenge. The competition is designed to give students a hands-on learning experience in cybersecurity and inspire them to consider science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in their studies. It also offers support and technical expertise from industry leaders, including CyberPatriot’s presenting sponsor, the Northrop Grumman Foundation.
 
Seventy-three students representing 17 Fairfax County high schools will gather at Chantilly High School to square off against more than 400 teams across the nation for the six-hour online competition where students will defend their virtual networks from attackers in a real-world simulated environment. Cybersecurity professionals from Northrop Grumman—a business partner to Chantilly High School and Chantilly Academy for more than 25 years—are serving as mentors for each of the Academy’s teams. 
 
In total, more than 1,200 teams will compete during November, representing both the all-service division, which consists of teams from JROTC, Civil Air Patrol, and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps; and the open division, which represents public, private, and home-schooled high school teams.
 
Competitions such as these were recently cited by a Homeland Security Advisory Council Task Force on Cyber Skills as an example of the type of innovative competitions that can expand the pipeline of highly qualified candidates for technical mission-critical jobs. The Task Force provided recommendations to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on October 1 aimed at improving the department's ability to build a world-class cybersecurity team and a strong pipeline for the future.
  
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Note: For more information, contact Joan Ozdogan at 703-222-7464 or jeozdogan@fcps.edu.