{Photo:From left to right: Matthew Marshall, Alex Bestoso, Michael Garvey, Charles Taylor}

A team of high school students from Rogers High School in Newport, RI recently concluded an exceptional round of competition in the eighth season of CyberPatriot – the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.

[contextly_auto_sidebar] Established by theAir Force Association, the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program was created to excite, educate, and motivate students toward careers in cyber security and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future.

CyberPatriot’s core program – the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition – challenges teams of two to six students across the United States, Canada, and from DoDD schools abroad, to find and resolve cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated environments.

The CyberPatriot field is divided into three divisions – the Open Division for public, private, and home school teams, the All Service Division for JROTC, Civil Air Patrol, and Naval Sea Cadet Corps teams, and the Middle School Division. Based on the results of two preliminary rounds, CyberPatriot VIII high school teams were categorized within their divisions as Platinum, Gold, or Silver Tier teams, with Platinum Tier teams representing the highest scoring teams. In all, 3,379 teams registered to compete in CyberPatriot VIII.

Rogers entered three teams into the Open Division of the competition. Two teams reached the Gold Tier and one team reached the Silver Tier. One of the three teams of students from Rogers excelled in the CyberPatriot VIII State Round held January 29-31, demonstrating teamwork, critical thinking skills, and technical knowledge key to a successful career in cybersecurity. The team’s performance earned it Rhode Island’s 1st Place Award.

The members of the winning team were Alex Bestoso, Michael Garvey, Matthew Marshall and Charles Taylor. All four students are enrolled in the Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) at the Newport Area Career and Technical Center and were first-time CyberPatriot competitors. They worked with mentor, Robert Hewett, and coach and AOIT instructor, Monica Awde Wlodyka, after school to learn cyber security concepts and best practices.

Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and serves on the Board of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and Lucy's Hearth. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.