Lincoln-Way East AFJROTC CyberPatriot Team takes first place in state
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, Master Sergeant Dale Steen received notification that the Lincoln-Way East Air Force Junior Reserve Officer training Corps (AFJROTC) CyberPatriot computer network defense team took first place in their division for the state of Illinois. The team members include Carleigh Phelon, Grace Arnold, Dominic DiAngi, Colin Murphy and Rebekah Stryjewski. The participants competed from the business computer labs at Lincoln-Way East on January 19, 2018.

CyberPatriot, the National Youth Cyber Education Program, was created by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cyber security or other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to the nation's future. 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.

The competition is open to high school and junior high school students from around the world. Lincoln-Way East’s team competes in the “all services” division which includes approximately 1700 JROTC and Civil Air Patrol units worldwide. During two qualification rounds, the teams are stratified into platinum, gold and silver tiers. Lincoln-Way East’s team competed in the gold tier along with 16 other teams from Illinois.

The team’s coach, Master Sergeant Dale Steen says, “I’m really proud of our team’s success, especially since they’ve done almost all of their own training. I’ve got limited experience in network security, but fortunately, we’ve got a bright group of kids who’ve researched and learned what they need to know. If we can find a network security mentor for next year, we can excel even more in this competition.”

To learn more about CyberPatriot, visit https://www.uscyberpatriot.org. For more information about Lincoln-Way East AFJROTC, contact MSgt Steen at dsteen@lw210.org.