Gregory Christian, CTEC’s CyberPatriot Coach, swears in Lew Muckle School’s CyberPatriot team as Deputy Superintendent Vaughn Hewitt looks on.
It could be compared to the swearing-in of cadets as they become police or military officers, but these 6th graders at Lew Muckle Elementary School (LMES) were being sworn in to learn the basics of a different and equally important kind of defense—cybersecurity.
The students were inductees in CyberPatriot, the National Youth Cyber Education Program, which was launched for the first time in the territory’s elementary public schools on Monday, March 13. After viewing a video on the CyberPatriot program, the students, supported by their parents, chose to become a part of cybersecurity. “The students will be using an animated software program to become familiar with cybersecurity during the lunch period,” explained LMES computer lab technician, Ms. Emily Schuster.
CyberPatriot coach and St. Croix Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) Electronics Instructor Gregory Christian swore-in the elementary school recruits. “I will not interfere with other people’s computer work. I will not snoop around in other people’s computer files. I will not use a computer to steal.” The students repeated the oath.
The Lew Muckle School 6th graders will participate in a short CyberPatriot course through June 2017. Thereafter, they will be eligible to compete in CyberPatriot X when they are promoted to junior high school. CyberPatriot X, an online cybersecurity competition, is designed for the junior high level and the senior high level. The window for the competition opens in October 2017.
Jennifer Matarangas-King of Innovative, a local contributor of CyberPatriot, distributed bags to the inductees on behalf of her company. “In 2013, Innovative donated $200,000 to the Career and Technical Education Board as a condition of the EDC certificate at the time, to vocational and technical education programs,” Matarangas-King said. “It took some time for everything to be finally established and we are very happy now to see that the CyberPatriot Program is up and running. The great thing is it’s going not only to the seniors, but also to the elementary students, so these students really have an amazing opportunity to get a really wonderful education all the way through high school.”
St. Croix Deputy Superintendent Vaughn Hewitt gave congratulatory remarks at the induction ceremony on behalf of the school district. LMES Principal Daphne Williams and Assistant Principal Delicia Sealey-Espinosa also gave words of encouragement to their school’s CyberPatriot team.
CyberPatriot was established by the Air Force Association. The Northrop Grumman Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor for CyberPatriot.
For more information on the CyberPatriot Competition, visit: https://www.uscyberpatriot.org/competition/Competition-Overview/how-the-competition-works.
Lew Muckle School Assistant Principal Delicia Sealey-Espinosa opens the school’s Induction ceremony for students’ participation in the CyberPatriot Program on Monday, March 13.
Lew Muckle School newly inducted CyberPatriot team shows off their bags donated by sponsor Innovative on Monday, March 13.