CyberPatriots honored by Air Force/Northrop Grumman

The Northrop Grumman Foundation, presenting sponsor of the Air Force Association's (AFA) CyberPatriot program, presented $50,000 in scholarships last weekend to students on the winning teams of the CyberPatriot V National Finals Competition.

The winners from the All Service Division were: first place—Marine Military Academy, Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), Harlingen, Texas; second place—Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Marine Corps JROTC, Fitchburg, Mass.; and third place—La Cueva High School, Marine Corps JROTC, Albuquerque, N.M.

The Open Division winners were: first place—Chantilly Academy, Chantilly, Va.; second place—Marshall Academy, Falls Church, Va.; and third place—Marshall Academy, Falls Church, Va.

Each student on the winning teams received a portion of the total scholarship amount. First place winners were each awarded $2,000, second place winners each received $1,500, and third place winners each got $1,000. This is the third year Northrop Grumman has provided these scholarship funds.

"The United States is experiencing a growing shortage of professionals interested in science, technology, engineering and math, threatening our economic future and national security," said Sandra Evers-Manly, vice president of corporate responsibility and president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation, in a Northrop Grumman press release. "Programs like CyberPatriot, which are increasing the pool of young people interested in STEM, are critical to our international competitiveness and our ability to defend ourselves from cyber threats."

The final competition brought 28 teams from around the country together to compete in two different divisions. The All Service Division included students from the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, Civil Air Patrol and the Naval Sea Cadet Corps programs. The Open Division was made up of public, private and home-schooled high school teams. This year, the CyberPatriot competition included two additional teams from Manitoba province, Canada, that competed parallel to the American teams as international exhibition teams.

The CyberPatriot V National Finals Competition was held outside Washington, D.C., on March 15. Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley delivered the keynote address for the event.

The AFA's CyberPatriot program is the largest high school cyber defense competition, and is designed to educate and motivate students toward careers in cybersecurity. Last week, the Northrop Grumman Foundation announced that it would continue as presenting sponsor of CyberPatriot, with a $4.5 million, three-year grant to AFA.

This is the fifth year of AFA's CyberPatriot competition, which included more than 1,200 teams representing all 50 states, and Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Europe and the Pacific, and Canada. This year's competition represents a 21 percent increase in registered teams over last year, according to Northrop Grumman. The competition began in October 2012 and included three virtual competition rounds over three months to qualify for the in-person final competition round.

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