The Air Force Association (AFA) announced that its CyberPatriot program will be hosting its third round of CyberCamps throughout the United States this summer. The CyberCamps are week-long seminars designed to educate students in grades 6 through 12 on the introductory topics of cyber ethics and network security. Each camp culminates with a mock cyber defense competition.
Hosted during the summer months by approved schools and organizations, AFA’s CyberCamp curriculum kits include several 4-hour instruction and activity modules, accompanying instructor guides, student workbooks and demonstration software. Registration willbe open from March 1 through May 1, 2017.
“Closing with a record 85 camps in 2016, AFA strives to increase participation to grow the program to over 100 camps during the summer session,” the non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association said in announcing the 2017 CyberCamp.
In addition to the traditional CyberCamp model, this time around CyberPatriot has partnered with Cyber Diamond sponsor Cisco to offer a limited pilot CyberCamp program geared toward more advanced students in partnership with Cisco.
"CyberPatriot is grateful for Cisco’s enthusiastic support of AFA CyberCamps over the past two summers,” said Bernie Skoch, Cyber Patriot National Commissioner. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Cisco to create an intermediate camp pilot that will help address the continued need to provide challenging STEM related activities for students beyond the school year. Cisco’s involvement in the CyberCamp program opens the door to countless students to continue their passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics career fields.”
“CyberPatriot aims to inspire high school and middle school students to pursue careers in cybersecurity and other STEM disciplines critical to our nation’sfuture,” AFA said.
Greg Prynn, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at Cisco Systems Inc., said, "I am very pleased to announce that the initial success with cyber camps has led to an expansion to include camps for more advanced students. Now both entry level and advanced participants can access customized preparation via the NetAcad learning platform for this year’s CyberPatriot competition. We are thrilled to see our partnership with CyberPatriot expanding for the benefit of our students."
Supporters of CyberPatriot include the Northrop Grumman Foundation, CyberPatriot’s Presenting Sponsor, as well as Cyber Diamond sponsors AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, Cisco, Microsoft, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Cyber Gold sponsors include Facebook, Riverside Research, Splunk and Symantec; and Cyber Silver sponsors Air Force Reserve, American Military University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Leidos and University of Maryland University College.
"We at Leidos are very proud of our founding sponsorship of the critically important STEM event and pleased [to] continue that support," said Lt. Gen. (USAF, Ret) Chuck Heflebower, of Leidos, Inc.
Leidos said “through its affiliation with SAIC [it] has provided invaluable support to the program as a Cyber Silver sponsor since CyberPatriot began in 2009. Leidos provides the Digital Forensics Event at the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition each April, which covers encryption, steganography and file carving challenges, as well as other challenges that focus on digital forensics topics. The event exposes the students to new areas of cybersecurity that are not traditionally covered in other the other events of the National Finals Competition.”
"It’s been a real pleasure having the support of Leidos for such an extended period of time," Skoch said, adding, "They’ve been part of the program since its early stages, and we are looking forward to continuing the partnership for years to come."