Peoria Unified Medical, Engineering and Technology (MET) Professional Academy Cybersecurity and Technology students began training for the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot Program, the nation’s premier Cyber Youth Education Program that seeks to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) opportunities through an annual cyber defense competition and other educational initiatives.
Nov. 13, junior and seniors from the MET Cybersecurity and Technology Department competed in the first round against similar teams across the country. Students had from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to complete the first round of the competition, which concentrates on Windows and Linux system administration.
While the two MET Cybersecurity teams did not make the top three spots, one of the teams still made the Open Division cutoff for the Platinum tier. This means it has the potential to make it to nationals. This tier consists of the top 30 teams in the North Continent. The other team made it to the Gold tier.
The second round takes place Dec. 4 to 6 and includes Cisco Networking Technologies. Scores will be combined from the first two rounds to determine which tier they qualify for (Platinum, Gold and Silver.) Only Platinum qualifies for nationals. This is the first year a team from Peoria Unified is competing.
At nationals, students have the opportunity to win scholarships and network with industry leaders.
Ethan Jensen, a first-year MET student and a Liberty High School junior, is leading the server farm team. The second team, led by Tamara Juntiff, a second year MET student and Liberty High School senior, is spearheading the team that is preparing a dozen switches and routers that will be used to simulate a large network to practice skills needed to defend and hack into other competing teams’ networks.