New middle school team also makes it to the finals
The CyberPatriot high school team at Marine Military Academy will attempt to win first place at the CyberPatriot VI National Championship and be the reigning champs for the second year in row.
According to the results released on Jan. 24, the Leathernecks qualified for the finals and will battle against 13 other schools from across the country March 26-30 in National Harbor, Md. Last year at the CyberPatriot V National Championship, MMA took home the top trophy in the All-Service division and the Marine division.
MMA’s CyberPatriot high school team is composed of: senior Dylan Che of Sugar Land, Texas (captain); senior Daniel Fago of San Diego; senior Drew Hopkins of Harlingen, Texas; senior Jose Rodriguez of Harlingen, Texas; and sophomore George Zenner of Houston. Che, Hopkins and Rodriguez are returning members.
This year, middle school students were allowed to participate in CyberPatriot. MMA’s new middle school group started strong and also scored high enough to advance to the national competition. The eighth-graders on this team are: Giancarlo and Giovanni Betti Hernandez of Huixquilucan, Mexico; Maxime Dowla of Castro Valley, Calif.; and Trevor Hankes of Austin, Texas (captain).
William Beckman, chief of networking and security at MMA, is the coach/sponsor for CyberPatriot.
In the CyberPatriot club, students learn to identify and correct all types of computer systems and their security vulnerabilities and threats. In the annual competition, every team is subjected to a series of challenges. The more vulnerabilities a team can spot and fix, the more points it will earn.
CyberPatriot is a national cyber defense competition that is designed to give hands-on exposure to the field of cybersecurity. It was created by the Air Force Association to excite secondary students about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. CyberPatriot is not a “hacking” competition. It teaches only defensive means of fixing vulnerabilities and hardening computer systems.