A team of five high school students from Blue Valley’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) in Overland Park, Kansas recently concluded an exceptional round of competition in the eighth season of CyberPatriot – the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. Team members included Andrew Stene, Grant Mclain, Niels Hansen, Stuart Koch and Tianyi Ma.
Established by the Air Force Association, the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program was created to excite, educate, and motivate students toward careers in cyber security and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future.
CyberPatriot’s core program – the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition – challenges teams of two to six students across the United States, Canada, and from DoDD schools abroad, to find and resolve cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated environments. Top teams from the preliminary online rounds win an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the live National Finals Competition, where students compete for national recognition and scholarships.
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, CyberPatriot VIII high school teams were categorized within their divisions as Platinum, Gold, or Silver Tier teams, with Platinum Tier teams representing the highest scoring teams.
In all, 3,379 teams registered to compete in CyberPatriot VIII, including 10 teams from Kansas
Led by Coach Ben Rau, the team of students from Blue Valley CAPS excelled in the CyberPatriot VIII State Round held January 29-31, demonstrating teamwork, critical thinking skills, and technical knowledge key to a successful career in cybersecurity. The team’s performance earned it a spot in the Gold Tier Regional Round to be held February 19-21, 2016.
Following the Regional/Category Round and Middle School Division Semifinals Round February 19-21, top teams in the Open and All Service Divisions’ Platinum Tier and the top three Middle School Division teams nationally will advance to the CyberPatriot VIII Finals Competition in Washington, D.C.