1st Place in State Award National Cyber Security

WSU Assistant Professor Math Paulson is a mentor of the Quest Academy Charter School CyberPatriot Team

Contact: Dr. Dave Bullock or Nicki Slaugh
Quest Academy Charter School
Jan. 17, 2020

Quest Academy Charter School CyberPatriot Team Wins 1st Place State Award in a national cybersecurity competition.

DATELINE – A team of middle school students from Quest Academy Charter School in Ogden, UT recently concluded an exceptional round of competition in the twelfth season of CyberPatriot – the Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.

Established by AFA in 2009, CyberPatriot is designed to educate and motivate students toward careers in cybersecurity 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 students across the United States, Canada, and other schools abroad, to find and resolve cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated environments. Top teams from the online rounds earn an all-expenses-paid trip to Rockville, Md., for the in-person National Finals Competition, where students compete for national recognition and scholarships.

From 6,760 teams registered for the competition season, 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 for middle school-aged students.

Led by Coach Jen Jones, the team of students from Quest Academy excelled in the CyberPatriot XII State Round held in December, demonstrating teamwork, critical thinking, and technical skills needed for a successful career in cybersecurity. The team’s performance earned its State’s 1st Place Award in the Middle School Tier and a spot in the National Semifinal Round held this month. 

“I am so proud of my team. They worked very hard and this has been their best season yet,” Mrs. Jones, coach of the team said. “Security experts are much in demand in every company and organization and cybersecurity jobs usually pay very well. By giving our middle school students an opportunity to learn how to harden operating systems and keep the bad guys out, we are also giving them a leg up in a very lucrative future career.” 

When asked about the complex task of teaching young students computer security, Mrs. Jones added, “Our students are eager to learn and it’s really not difficult to teach a willing mind. We are also  very lucky to have some wonderful professionals who work in this industry mentoring our team. The community/business partnerships that we have with these professionals and the companies they work for has been critical to our success. I am really grateful especially to Weber State University and Zion’s Bank for allowing their security professionals to teach our team some tricks of the trade.”

Following the Semifinal Round, the top three Middle School Division teams will advance to the CyberPatriot XII National Finals Competition in Rockville, Md., in March.

More information is available at www.uscyberpatriot.org or from the CyberPatriot staff at info@uscyberpatriot.org. 
The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage. 

Media Contact: LaDonna Orleans
 (703) 247-5850