Serious Cyber Skills Help Students Finish Strong in National Competition

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Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)

Students from Battlefield High School, Forest Park High School and Benton Middle School recently concluded an exceptional season of CyberPatriot – the Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.

This competition challenges teams of students across North America and from U.S. Department of Defense schools around the world, to find and resolve cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated environments. They are given challenges to be completed within a six-hour time period, and they do it all remotely from a classroom computer lab. Teams compete for top placement within regional and state rounds.

The CyberPatriot field is divided into three divisions – the Open Division for public, private, and home school teams; the All Service Division for JROTC, Civil Air Patrol, and Naval Sea Cadet Corps teams; and the Middle School Division. Based on the results of two preliminary rounds, high school teams were categorized within their divisions as Platinum, Gold, or Silver Tier teams, with Platinum Tier teams representing the highest scoring teams.

Two teams – Team 1619 and Team 1629 – from Battlefield High School advanced to the National Semifinals at the Platinum level after placing third and sixth respectively from among 450 teams in Virginia.

“Cyber Competition is not like, for example, a sport where you can win in a small division,” said Gail Drake, Battlefield US Cyber Patriot Coach. “You are competing against huge numbers in order to take a win.”

Forest Park CyberPatriot Team
In the Open Division – Gold Tier, two teams from Forest Park qualified for the National Semifinals after a strong state showing. Led by Coach Mike Miczalkowski, Team 1’s performance earned second place in the Gold Division. And Team 2 placed eighth. The JROTC Team Bruin Battalion Defenders from Forest Park earned a first place Gold Tier Award in the All Service Division State Awards and advanced to the Semifinals.

Benton Middle CyberPatriot Team

All three Benton teams who competed in the State round progressed to the National Semifinals in the Middle School division.

A JROTC team from Osbourn Park took second place in the Interservice State Round for Virginia in the Platinum category, but were not selected to go to Nationals.

CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future. The Youth Cyber Defense Competition is CyberPatriot’s core program.

Congratulations to all the Prince William teams for their successful season.


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