Unique competition has students step into the world of cybersecurity – The Oakland Press | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Heidi Gee (center), Nolan Barker and Riya Chava practice at the home of their coach Jerry Gee.
Their team (including Shaila Cranson, not pictured) placed fifth in a statewide competition in December.

Photo courtesy Jerry Gee

After school clubs feature activities for middle and high school students interested in topics such as marketing for future business leaders, debate and moot courts for prospective lawyers, model United Nations for future diplomats, and even chess for future grand masters.

Robotics has surged in popularity recently for prospective computer scientists and engineers.

But a new subject is growing in popularity as the world grapples with online security. Students in Farmington are learning how to keep the world safe as future cyber warriors.

Cybersecurity protects systems, networks and programs from digital attacks designed to access, change or steal information and data or damage systems.

Middle school students at the Farmington STEAM Academy and both Farmington high schools are joining CyberPatriot teams to solve real world information technology problems through virtual competitions.

The National Youth Cyber Education Program is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program of the Air and Space Forces Association and was created in 2009 for K-12 students interested in careers in cybersecurity and other science or STEM disciplines.

Nationwide CyberPatriot competitions began the same year and have expanded to include Europe and Australia.

A middle school team was created six years ago at the STEAM Academy by parent-coach Jerry Gee, and Jason Canfield has been coaching teams at Farmington and North Farmington High Schools for four years.

Heidi Gee, Nolan Barker, Shaila Cranson and Riya Chava make up one of five teams at North Farmington. They placed fifth in a statewide competition in December.

Canfield, who teaches cybersecurity and web design at both schools, said he began with two teams four years ago and now each has five teams.


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National Cyber Security