Oklahoma students qualify for national cyber security competition
Seven months ago, 18-year-old Dillon Ledoux didn't know much about cyber security.
Today, he is somewhat of an expert.
Ledoux and several of his classmates at Lakewood Christian School in McAlester were one of two teams from Oklahoma to win expense-paid trips to Washington, D.C., to participate in a national cyber security competition called CyberPatriot. A team from Great Plains Technology Center in Lawton also earned a spot at the national competition, which takes place March 31 through April 2.
Cyber security is a growing, high-paying field that is designed to protect digital information.
Several state and community leaders gathered at the state Commerce Department on Wednesday to congratulate the teams before their trip.
The Air Force Association created the CyberPatriot competition in 2008 to teach high school students about cyber security and to promote science, technology, engineering and math education.
During the competition, students face real-life cyber security situations. They must defend a computer or a computer network against viruses, hackers and other threats. Students had to make it through three rounds of competition to qualify for the national finals.
About 660 teams started in the competition. Only 17 remain, including the two schools from Oklahoma.
That is a huge accomplishment for the state, especially since no Oklahoma teams entered the competition last year, said Dave Wagie, director of aerospace economic development for the Commerce Department.
Wagie and other officials hope the success Oklahoma teams have had this year will generate more interest in cyber security. Some students are already excited to return, Wagie said.
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 80469Oklahoma tornadoes: 'It took it all'
- 30097Oklahoma Severe Storm Updates
- 29530Oklahoma State football: Limiting Wes Lunt's transfer options makes Mike Gundy look bad
- 25550Oklahoma weather: Crews work to clear storm damage in Oklahoma City as the state braces for severe weather Sunday.
- 7945Bounty hunters look for bail jumpers, fugitives on the streets of Oklahoma City
- 7267Oklahoma City Thunder: What could Serge Ibaka learn from Hakeem Olajuwon?
- 7260Severe storms possible in Oklahoma again Monday