At the core of the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. The CyberPatriot program began in 2009 with a proof of concept competition among six high school Air Force JROTC teams and one Civil Air Patrol team. Since then, the program has experienced per annum growth of more than 20%. The CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition is now open to public, private, and charter high schools, home schools, JROTC units, CAP Squadrons, NSCC Units, scouting troops, and Boys & Girls Clubs. Additionally, CyberPatriot VI marked the introduction of a Middle School Division, which welcomes public and private schools, as well as the other organizations listed above to field teams of students pursuing middle school or junior high education. For a full history of the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, click here.
After numerous requests from educators for post-season programming, CyberPatriot piloted the AFA CyberCamp Program in summer 2014. The first full season was conducted in summer 2015. Through the CyberCamp program, schools and other educational organizations cand order curriculum and software kits to use to introduce students to cybersecurity over the summer.
In summer 2015, CyberPatriot also launched an Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative designed to help young students understand the importance of cybersecurity in their everyday lives, equip them with the skills to better protect themselves online, encourage them to behave ethically online, and excite them toward opportunities in STEM.
Scholarships and Internships
Since 2011, the Northrop Grumman Corporation has generously awarded scholarships to members of First Place, Runner-Up, and Third Place National Finals teams, amounting to over $300,000 in direct academic financial support to CyberPatriot competitors to date. Additionally, Northrop Grumman offers CyberPatriot Internships in offices around the country, providing participants professional cybersecurity experience straight out of high school.
By participating in CyberPatriot, students are introduced to an exciting and lucrative career path. In addition to learning teamwork and organizational skills that set them apart in the STEM job market, Competitors benefit from direct tutelage by industry professionals that volunteer through the CyberPatriot Mentor Program.