CyberPatriot the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. The CyberPatriot Programs are:
At the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. The competition puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network 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. Teams compete for the top placement within their state and region, and the top teams in the nation earn all-expenses paid trips to Baltimore, MD for the National Finals Competition where they can earn national recognition and scholarship money.
AFA CyberCamps emphasize fun, hands-on learning of cybersecurity principles that are relevant and applicable to everyday life. At CyberCamp, students learn the importance of cyber safety and how to protect their personal devices and information from outside threats. Standard AFA CyberCamps teach beginner students the basics while Advanced AFA CyberCamps incorporates more complex concepts geared towards students who have previous participated in a CyberCamp or participated on a CyberPatriot team.
The CyberPatriot Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative (ESCEI) is a set of three fun, interactive learning modules aimed at increasing grade K-6 students’ awareness of online safety and cybersecurity principles. Security Showdown 2 is geared at K-2 students and teaches students about Personal Information. JeffOS is for grades 3-6 and teaches about phishing, malware and firewalls. Packet Protector is also geared at grades 3-6 and teaches about malware, defenses and passwords.
The Cyber Education Literature series was launched in December 2017 with the publishing of its first book, Sarah the Cyber Hero
. The book is a pre-K reader for younger children that pioneers the topic of cybersecurity to a early elementary youth and is available to purchase online.
CyberPatriot's newest program, CyberGenerations, the Senior Citizen's Guide to Cyber Safety will be available nationwide in late 2018. The program aims to teach older individuals about password hygiene, malware and ransomware, marketing and fraud scam, and social media awareness.