Student Competitions

Huntsville City Schools Wins CyberPatriot Center of Excellence Designation

Huntsville City Schools has been named a Center of Excellence by the Air Force Association's (AFA) CyberPatriot program.

"CyberPatriot, the nation's largest and fastest growing youth cyber education program, is AFA's flagship science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program dedicated to strengthening cyber skills among American youth," according to a news release. "The Center of Excellence designation is awarded to communities and institutions that provide leadership and support to further the educational experiences of their students through the CyberPatriot program."

Huntsville is the seventh district to win the distinction since the AFA began naming Centers of Excellence in 2011. Since joining the CyberPatriot program in 2013, the 23,000-student Alabama district has placed open and all service division teams in CyberPatriot national Finals competitions, taken first and second place in the open division and been awarded Coach of the Year recognition.

"The success stems in large part from the school system's collaboration with the Alabama State Department of Education to develop a four-year cybersecurity curriculum to help prepare students to pursue cybersecurity postsecondary education and careers," according to information released by the AFA. "The Huntsville City School system has also developed partnerships with local industry leaders to secure internships for CyberPatriot competitors, and has helped prepare students to earn professional credentials including COMPTIA's Fundamentals, Network + and Security +. In addition, the school system offers training to first-time Coaches and Mentors."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].