“We are really excited about the Delta Cyberforce team’s placement,” said Childers. “This is the first team we’ve had break into the top 10 for the Georgia Gold Tier.”
Mr. Steven Childers, Instructional Technology Teacher at Harris County High School, recently sent a thank you note to Georgia Power for their donation to the Cyber Security Program. This funding allowed Harris County to send several teams to the Cyber Patriot Competition. Cyber Patriot is a national cyber defense competition that teaches students how to find and fix cybersecurity vulnerabilities. It is part of their cybersecurity pathway and partnership with Columbus State University's Cybersecurity programs to develop local talent to fill overwhelming demand in this field.
Several years ago, Tom Fanning of Southern Company donated to Harris County as a thank you for participating in the stockholder's meeting. Because of this donation, Harris County High School started a Computer Science Academy that has grown from a few introductory courses at the high school to a complete program in grades 5th – 12th, ending with industry certification programs and advanced placement (AP) courses.
We are proud to see Southern Company and Georgia Power impact our education and workforce by supporting our local school systems.
A note from Mr. Childers:
"We greatly appreciate all of the support and especially your hard work. We are so excited this year because we had a team make Platinum tier (the highest level) for the first time, and we had two teams make Gold tier along with one team in Silver tier. This has been by far our most successful year."
From the school's press release:
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS PLACE WELL AT CYBER PATRIOT GAMES
HAMILTON, GA – Cybersecurity teams of Harris County High School (HCHS) students placed first and third in the CyberPatriot Games created by the Air Force Association to spark students' interest in the fields of cybersecurity-related fields.
A growing program at HCHS, students now can learn about cybersecurity through a CTAE (Career, Technology, Agriculture, and Engineering) pathway and are finding success at related competitions.
"The teams started practicing in August and competed in three competitive events from November to January," said Steve Childers, HCHS CyberPatriot coach, teacher, and HCSD 5-12 instructional technology specialist. "This is our third year competing in this program, and the results at this year's competition are our best yet."
Participants on the successful teams include:
Team Alpha - 1st place Georgia Silver Tier
- Mitchell Burns - 11th grade
- Atticus Church - 10th grade
- Philip Cook - 9th grade
- Carter Dennard - 11th grade
- Logan McKeen - 11th grade
Lady Tigers - 3rd place Georgia Silver Tier
- Isabelle Campeau - 9th grade
- Anika Cook - 10th grade
- Amber Knight - 10th grade
- Meghan Markert - 12th grade
Delta Cyberforce - Top 10 placement Georgia Gold Tier
- Connor Heath - 11th grade
- Carson Markert - 10th grade
- Nickalus Nesnick - 11th grade
- Race Williams - 11th grade
"We are really excited about the Delta Cyberforce team's placement," said Childers. "This is the first team we've had break into the top 10 for the Georgia Gold Tier."
CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. At the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, which puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. Through a series of online competition rounds, teams are given a set of virtual operating systems and are tasked with finding and fixing cybersecurity vulnerabilities while maintaining critical services.
"Congratulations on your team's placement in the CP-XIII Gold/Silver Tier State Round," shared Helene Daage of the CyberPatriot Program Office. To recognize these accomplishments, the teams received a "Certificate of Excellence," which is awarded to honor the outstanding technical skill, problem-solving, and teamwork demonstrated by placing among the top teams in the CP-XIII State Round.
Success in cybersecurity competitions is not new for HCHS. Last May, the HCHS GirlsGoCyberStart team made it to the national finals and placed 96 out of 276 teams. Meghan Markert was the team leader.
Across Georgia, CTAE programs deliver a high-school experience that prepares students for their lives after high school. Students can learn skills for real-world careers in more than 100 Career Pathways – from financial technology to flight operations – while earning recognized industry credentials and participating in work-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities. At HCHS, the CTAE program offers pathways in:
- Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
- Architecture & Construction
- Arts, Audio/Video Technology and Communication
- Business Management and Administration
- Computer Science/Information Technology (IT)
- Education and Training
- Government and Public Administration
- Health Science
- Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security
- Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
- Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics