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Cyber Defense Challenge Accepting Teams

High schools interested in registering a five-member team for the national CyberPatriot competition, another in a string of initiatives we've seen recently to draw interest to cybersecurity, have until early October to enter the challenge's third incarnation.

In CyberPatriot III, hundreds of teams will competitively defend networks against threats similar to those faced by cybersecurity workers employed by the armed forces or defense contractors. Any high school can field a team in the competition's open division, while those with JROTC or Civil Air Patrol units can enter into a separate, all-service division. The experience and materials in both divisions are identical.

Registration for the competition, presented by global security giants Northrop Grumman and produced by nonprofit advocates the Air Force Association, closes October 8. Finalists in the competition will win an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington for the championship round.

If you've been following us, you've already read about a proposed Computer Science Education Act, alternative approaches to teaching computer science, and even a burgeoning program that aims to focus directly on turning high schoolers into cybersecurity professionals. Proponents have argued that present national security demands, a widening gap between a growing number of cybersecurity jobs and a decrease in qualified applicants, and a listless job market in other sectors make this a critical moment for educating students in cybersecurity. Stay tuned to see how far they carry this current momentum.

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