High school students from across Brevard have joined forces at Codecraft Lab to learn, practice, and
compete in a national cyber defense competition. The Codecraft Lab CyberPatriot teams consist of our Coach, Shannon Landin, high school student team members, and volunteer technical mentors. These volunteer subject matter experts; Josh Landin, Chris Struttmann, and Owen Redwood, show up to share their real world experience and incredible passion. Their dedication to tackling the learning opportunities with the teams better prepare our students for college and the real, hyper-connected, internet enabled world beyond.
How does competition work?
The early rounds of the competition are done online during weekends from the teams’ home location at Codecraft Lab. Prior to the rounds, teams download “virtual image” representations of operating systems with known flaws, or cybersecurity “vulnerabilities.” Teams must find the flaws while keeping computer functions working. Team progress is recorded by a central CyberPatriot scoring system.
Scores from two online qualification rounds are added together to determine team placement into one of three tiers for the State Round: Platinum, Gold, or Silver. These tiers have cybersecurity challenges of different degrees of complexity, with Platinum being the tier with the highest degree of difficulty and the only tier where teams have the opportunity to advance to the National Finals competition.
After the online State Round, the top teams in each state advance to the Regional Round for the Open Division. The top six teams in each category advance to the Category Round. Following the Regional and Category rounds, the top 12 teams in our division and top two teams from each All Service Division category (Air Force/Army/Marine Corps/Navy JROTC, CAP, USNSCC) and one wild card team advance, all-expenses paid, to the in-person National Finals Competition held in Baltimore, Maryland. There, the Finalists compete face-to-face against other teams in their division to defend virtual networks from a professional aggressor team. Winners of the National Finals are awarded scholarship grants.
Importance of Cybersecurity:
- Banking, commerce, manufacturing, defense and other industries all critically rely on cyber systems – grave implications can occur if our cyber systems are disrupted.
- ID theft : 27.3 million cases in five-year period
- Predators can exploit young people on the Internet if good security practices aren’t followed
- Technology is important, but biggest challenge in keeping America strong in cyber is creating a well qualified cyber workforce
- Cyber careers are high-demand, high-paying (pay on average $12K/year more than other IT jobs)
- Need bright young minds pursuing STEM disciplines in school – waiting until college or even high school is too late to attract students to STEM.
Codecraft Lab’s youth cyber education opportunities reinforce important science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts all while strengthening critical cyber skills. These young team members will gain valuable knowledge from the competition, their mentors’ expertise, to finish the season empowered with relevant, cybersecurity skills for better navigating our digital world.
If you or your company is interested in supporting Codecraft Lab in the mission that draws students to STEM by engaging them in an exciting, motivating, and educational activities where they learn skills that can be carried forward through college and cyber careers, please, reach out to us, get involved or give your support.