San Antonio Cyber Cup could boost geek cred

Mayor will reward the local team that does best in the national CyberPatriot competition

Cybersecurity competitions might not become the next battleground for high school academics, but San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro seems to think it’s a good idea.

Castro’s office is building on the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot III competition by launching the San Antonio Mayor’s Cyber Cup, with the goal of raising awareness and improving education about cybersecurity.

The idea is to encourage local high school teams to enter the CyberPatriot competition. Now in its third year, the contest is intended to identify future cybersecurity professionals among high school students. Nineteen teams from San Antonio are among the more than 500 teams taking part in the latest competition. There is an All-Service Division for Junior ROTC and Civil Air Patrol units and an Open Division for other high school teams.


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CyberPatriot III, set to run for the 2010-2011 school year, is in the practice rounds. Eventually, the field will be reduced to 125 teams in each division and then to 36 teams. The finals for the All-Service Division will be held in Florida in February; the nonservice finals will be held in April at the Cyber Futures Conference and Technology Exposition at National Harbor, Md.

San Antonio decided to make its competition local with the Mayor’s Cyber Cup, which is not tied to an event but will recognize teams taking part in CyberPatriot.

The Mayor’s Cyber Cup will be awarded in December to the San Antonio team that scores highest in CyberPatriot’s first round, according to a release from the mayor’s office. The pot was also sweetened for winning team members, who will get commemorative coins, leather jackets and scholarships.

Leather jackets? When was the last time an academic quiz or math team got those? Who knows — this cyber competition thing just might catch on.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is editor of Defense Systems. Follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCaney.

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