CyberPatriot is the premier national high school cyber defense competition that is designed to give hands on exposure to the foundations of cyber security. CyberPatriot is not a hacking competition. CyberPatriot's goal is to excite students about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.The CompetitionIn each competition round, students are provided one to three virtual machines. These machines contain several vulnerabilities, and students must clean the image of them. The virtual machines can have Windows or GNU/Linux Operating systems. They are given a set amount of time on the competition day to do so. Teams that find the most vulnerabilities pass on to the next round, and the winners of all three rounds compete in the National Championships in Washington, D.C.
Here's what's cool: the skills that the kids learn are basic IT administration, with an emphasis on security. Passwords, patches, configuration settings. There's a curriculum downloadable from the CyberPatriot web site, but the contents will be familiar to anyone who's in IT.
But dig this: while you have to actually be a teacher at the school to be a coach, the system relies on "mentors" who volunteer from the community. Anyone can do it, although they'll do a background check on you. I'm trying to talk #2 Son's JROTC commander into signing up.
So here's a chance for you to help out the local kids. IT security is a growing field, and even if the kids don't go into the Service, there are a lot of jobs out there.