The National Youth Cyber Education Program
2018 was yet another strong year of performance and growth for AFA’s largest science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education initiative, CyberPatriot. AFA volunteers, AFA leadership, educators, administrators, parents, and leaders of youth programs such as Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, and JROTC units continue to fuel what is now the world’s largest youth cyber education program.
The eleventh season (2018-19 school year) of CyberPatriot’s main pillar, the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, grew to 6,387 teams. AFA CyberCamps, the Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative and the Cyber Education Literature Series also continued to grow and expand. CyberPatriot reached a new audience with the launch of the CyberGenerations program, AFA’s Senior Citizens’ Cyber Safety Initiative.
National Youth Cyber Defense Competition
The flagship program of AFA’s CyberPatriot Program continues to grow and expand. The CP-X National Finals Competition was held in April at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. There the top 28 teams in the All Service, Open, and Middle School Divisions competed for top honors. Mr. Wes Bush, Chairman and CEO of Northrop Grumman Corporation, gave the keynote address at the CP-X Awards Banquet where the following teams were declared winners:
Open Division National Champions:
Team Togo, North Hollywood High School (North Hollywood, CA)
All Service Division National Champions:
Team Cyber Warriors 0, Troy High School (Navy JROTC, Fullerton, CA)
Middle School Division National Champions:
Team CyberAegis Cancer Minor, Oak Middle School (San Diego, CA)
The top three teams in the Open and All Service Division were awarded unrestricted educational grants from Northrop Grumman. Each member of a National Championship team in either division received $2,000, each member of the runner-up team received $1,500, and each member of the third place team received $1,000.
Over a seven-week period in the summer of 2018, 261 AFA CyberCamps were held across the U.S. The camps were featured in both the standard version of the 20-hour curriculum, teaching introductory cybersecurity skills to middle and high school students, as well as a newly released advanced version designed for returning students who crave a more challenging curriculum and who may have previously participated in an AFA CyberCamp. A full list of 2018 CyberCamps can be found here.
Even Younger CyberPatriot Participants
CyberPatriot Programs aimed at the youngest of internet users, AFA’s Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative (ESCEI, pronounced “ess-key”) and the Cyber Education Literature Series continued to be popular. ESCEI teaches students in grades K-6 basic cybersecurity principles, personal information protection, and online safety in an entertaining and engaging game-like format. Over 1,400 ESCEI kits were distributed in 2018 bringing the total distribution for the program since its launch to nearly 7,800.
2018 also saw the production of an activity book to accompany Sarah the Cyber Hero, the first book in the Cyber Education Literature Series. Over 250 copies of Sarah the Cyber Hero were sold or distributed in 2018. The book is available through for purchase online through BookBaby, our publisher, as well as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
In 2018 CyberPatriot launched its newest program, CyberGenerations, the Senior Citizens’ Cyber Safety Initiative. The program was piloted in February at Falcons Landing Military Retirement Community and, based on the feedback received in that workshop, program materials were updated. The program officially launched in December 2018.
The program is designed to be given over five sessions and covers cybersecurity 101, password management, common internet threats, internet scams and fraud and social media safety.
Our Generous Sponsors are Making CyberPatriot Possible
The Northrop Grumman Foundation continues its generous support of AFA’s CyberPatriot program. AFA’s other CyberPatriot sponsors include AT&T Federal and the AT&T Foundation, Boeing, Cisco, Microsoft, the US Department of Homeland Security, Air Force Reserve, BNY Mellon, Facebook, Riverside Research, Symantec, the USAA Foundation, the Air Force STEM Office, American Military University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Leidos, Mastercard, and The University of Maryland University College.
We remain grateful to all our sponsors for their support and continue daily to identify other visionary organizations that share our goal for improving STEM education in our nation.