Nevada City Area CyberPatriot Team
CyberPatriot is a National Youth Cyber Education Program conceived by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire students toward careers in cybersecurity, or other STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) critical to our nation's future. Forest Charter School has had middle school and high school CyberPatriot teams since 2014, led by Coach Heather Buck and assisted by Team Mentor, Dave Bishop. These teams are the only CyberPatriot teams in Nevada County, and have placed well in the Cyber Defense Competitions.2016 FCS Cyber Patriot TeamThe teams meet for group practice one day per week at the Nevada City Learning Center and for one additional evening practice during the competition season. Team members are eligible for participation in the AFA Cyber Camps, held at Sierra College campuses in Rocklin and Nevada County. In addition, optional regional training may take place once per month during the competition season, at which guest speakers present on a variety of topics relevant to the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.Even students with little computer experience may join a team, as the necessary skills will be taught during the practices, both by professionals and experienced students. However, there are some minimal requirements that must be met by each team memberStudents must:
- Be at least 12 years old before the end of the practice round (early November) in a competition year.
- Be willing to research cybersecurity techniques independently and bring that information to share with team mates.
- Attend practices regularly, including daytime, evening, and “special” skill building sessions.
- Be able to attend competitions (6+ hours on several competition weekends—usually the team has picked Saturdays).
- Have a working computer at home (preferably a laptop)
About The CompetitionAt the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. The competition puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company.In the rounds of competition, teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services. Teams earn points for each vulnerability corrected, competing for the top placement in multiple rounds of competition within their state and region.The top teams in the nation earn all-expenses-paid trips to Washington, DC, for the National Finals Competition, where they can earn national recognition and scholarship money.In addition to the scholarships, students gain valuable experience that will prepare them for a future career in cybersecurity, build leadership and collaborative skills, and enjoy the comradery of team-based competition.For more information, view the official CyberPatriot brochure.