HCS Cyber Patriot Team Takes 8 of 9 Top Spots in State Competition
Student teams from five different Huntsville City Schools took eight of the nine top spots in the Alabama CyberPatriot XI Competition. Teams have earned a spot in the National Semi-Finals this weekend, which gives them a chance to qualify for the National Finals held in April.
In the state open division, Huntsville High took first place, Grissom earned second place, and New Century Technology High received third place. In the JROTC division, New Century placed first and Grissom took second place. In the middle school division, Challenger walked away with the first and second place honors, and Hampton Cove took third place.
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. The competition challenges student teams from across the United States, Canada, and abroad to find and resolve cybersecurity issues in simulated environments. Teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images as well as hardening the system they represent while also maintaining critical services.
Jim Morse, the lead cyber teacher for Huntsville City Schools, points out that a commitment was made to teach cyber security throughout the district. Students have the opportunity to take up to six different courses in cyber security in middle through high school. Morse said that “we expect to be leaders in the state, and we expect everyone to be chasing us.”
In 2015, Huntsville City Schools was selected as a CyberPatriot Center of Excellence for the stimulating environment it provided students for skills and knowledge relevant to cyber security. The district is currently one of only fifteen in the nation to earn this distinction. That same year, Huntsville City Schools had a team that won first place in the national finals, and a teacher selected as CyberPatriot Coach of the Year.