Tuesday, February 16, 2016 – A team of high school students from Codecraft Lab in Melbourne, Florida recently concluded an exceptional round of competition in the eighth season of CyberPatriot – the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. 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. In all, 3,379 teams registered to compete in CyberPatriot VIII, including 64 teams from Florida. Led by coach Shannon Landin and exceptional volunteer mentors from local area businesses, the Codecraft Lab team made up of students from Melbourne High School, West Shore Junior-Senior High School, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy and home school 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.Team members preparing for competition. “The competition fits perfectly with Codecraft Lab’s mission to inspire all students toward careers in cybersecurity, computing, or other STEM disciplines, critical to our nation’s future,” said Shannon Landin. “These talented young people have learned so much already and should be very proud of their accomplishments.” The team meets weekly at Codecraft Lab in downtown Eau Gallie.  All competitions take place online with the exception of the National Finals Competition. Teams are placed in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network and systems of a small company. In the rounds of competition, teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services. “I believe learning the skill sets required to be successful in the computer science and computer security fields prepare me to work in nearly every industry, and the problem solving I’ve already learned is invaluable both in and out of school. I can say with certainty that learning to program with friends and mentors will remain one of the most influential and best decisions I’ve ever made,” stated team member Eve Beard. Members of Codecraft Lab’s CyberPatriot teams also competed in the XCEL-IT Tech Challenge at Eastern Florida State College on Friday, February 12. The competition was an IT obstacle course that included lock-picking, PC troubleshooting, network assembly, website development, website hacking, server hacking, programming, data recovery, fiber optic cable termination/splicing, virtualization, and mobile applications development. The Codecraft Lab high school team is very proud of their 3rd place finish. More information is available at  www.codecraftlab.org , on Facebook at www.facebook.com/codecraftlab, or from staff at learning@codecraftlab.org. ### CyberPatriot team membersTwo of Codecraft Lab’s CyberPatriot team members with the ongoing competition standings during the State Competition on January 31, 2016.