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News > Aviano Students compete in worldwide computer defense competition
Aviano Students compete in worldwide computer defense competition

Posted 11/10/2011   Updated 11/10/2011 Email story   Print story


from staff reports
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

11/10/2011 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Four Aviano High School students jumped into the world of Cyberwarfare in a worldwide competition which kicked off on Nov. 5. This defensive computer competition is open to all high school students in the United States or in a DoDDS school overseas.

Established by the Air Force Association, CyberPatriot - the National High School Cyber Defense Competition, is the nation's largest and fastest-growing high school cyber security challenge. This unique competition was designed to give students a hands-on learning experience in cybersecurity and inspire students to consider science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields in their studies.

CyberPatriot is presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation, with founding partners SAIC and the Center for Information Assurance and Security at the University of Texas-San Antonio. Over 1,000 teams entered in one of two divisions, the all service division, composed of ROTC and Civil Air Patrol teams, or the open division, for all other high school, private, and home-schooled student teams.

Aviano AFA President Mike Nishimuta said the students performed exemplary in the first ever entry by an Aviano High School Team.

"Thanks to outstanding support from the Aviano High School JROTC commander, Col. Joseph Sansone, and the Computer Science instructor, Mark Fix, with assistance from the Educational Technologist and his staff and skilled mentors from the 31st Communications Squadron, the team achieved a success rate of 80 percent in finding and repairing deficiencies in a target computer operating system," he said. The team, named the "CyberSaints" was composed of freshman Chase Bushman, Sophomore Jackson Sansone, Junior Lily Lauzon, and Senior Samantha Hornberger.

Joining Aviano were teams from Kaiserslautern High School and Alconbury High School, the only teams from DoDDS Europe. The students will advance to a second round online in December. A third round will eliminate all but 36 teams, and the final live playoff will be conducted at the CyberFutures Conference at the Gaylord Convention Center, Washington D.C., in March 2012. Winners will receive over $2,000 in scholarships. For more information on cyberpatriot, visit http://uscyberpatriot.org.

The AFA is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA has over 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing 120,000 members. For more information, contact Michael Nishimuta, at 333-951-9524 or email president@avianoafa.org.

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