ACES Students Mentor Local High Schools in the CyberPatriot Competition

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Local students compete in the CyberPatriot Competition

After six grueling hours of competition, local high school students successfully completed the first round of the CyberPatriot competition on October 25.

ACES partners with the Maryland Center for Women in Computing and WIT, Women in Technology, to send Cyber Ambassadors into local high schools to serve as mentors to students participating in the CyberPatriot competition. ACES hosted the first round of the competition in the ACES lab.

Dr. Jan Plane, associate director of ACES, said, “the goal is to get more women and other underrepresented populations interested in cybersecurity.”

The ACES Cyber Ambassadors, Neelima Pradhan, ’18, Heidi Shiau, ’17, Michelle Cody, ’17, and Kinsey Smith, ’18, go to Eleanor Roosevelt High School and Seton High School weekly to mentor students in their preparation for the competition.

Though Cyber Ambassadors have worked with the two schools for over a year, this is the first year that teams will compete. Seton High School, an all-girls high school, and Eleanor Roosevelt High School, each have about 12 participants. Eleanor Roosevelt High School has an equal number of men and women on its team, a rarity as only 10 percent of CyberPatriot competitors are women.

 Neelima Pradhan, ’18, recently joined CyberPatriot as a Cyber Ambassador and said it was impressive to see the skills  students learn applied in the real world.

 “It was actually really interesting. They’re only juniors but they already know so much,” Pradhan said on seeing high school   students participate in the competition.

 According to the CyberPatriot website, the competitions simulates a small companies network management by newly hired  IT professionals. During the competitions, students use virtual machines to find cybersecurity vulnerabilities and work to  build the systems defenses while still offering critical services.


Published November 9, 2014