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Arlington, Va., — The Air Force Association’s (AFA) CyberPatriot Program Office has announced the Fort Gordon Cyber District (Alliance for Cyber Education) as its newest CyberPatriot Center of Excellence.
CyberPatriot, the nation’s largest and fastest growing youth cyber education program, is AFA’s flagship science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program dedicated to strengthening cyber skills among American youth. The Center of Excellence designation is awarded to communities and institutions that provide leadership and support to further the educational experiences of their students through the CyberPatriot program.
CyberPatriot established the Center of Excellence program in 2011, and has since recognized 14 other entities – Los Angeles Unified School District, City of San Antonio, Spokane Public Schools (Wash.), Rose State College (Okla.), Fairfax County Public Schools (Va.), STEMspark East Tennessee Innovation Hub, Huntsville City Schools (Ala.), Lee’s Summit R-7 School District (Mo.), SoCal Cybersecurity Community College Consortium, Elk Grove Unified School District (Calif.), and Red Bank Regional High School District (NJ), Midwest CISSE Chapter (Mich.), NDIA San Diego Chapter (Calif.), and the Bay Area Community College Consortium.
The Alliance for Fort Gordon was established in 2003 by Congressman Charlie Norwood as a 501c3 non-profit organization as an advocate for Fort Gordon and to protect the community’s interest during the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. In 2016, after evaluating the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape, the Alliance evolved its mission to promote, coordinate, and serve as an advocate for the Fort Gordon Cyber District, thus stimulating investment in cyber growth to capitalize on opportunities for the benefit of all.
“The Alliance for Fort Gordon is so very proud to serve as the catalyst for the Fort Gordon Cyber District to become a nationally recognized CyberPatriot Center of Excellence. The Alliance for Fort Gordon promotes the Fort Gordon Cyber District brand and inspires the building of the cyber related eco system focused on cyber work force, innovation, STEM education and high tech capabilities throughout our region and states. We are so very proud of our teams, our education committee, and our region for being named a Cyber Patriot Center of Excellence (Dr. Tom Clark, executive director of the Alliance for Fort Gordon). ”
As a CyberPatriot Center of Excellence, the Fort Gordon Cyber District Promotes the program across two states (Georgia and South Carolina) and seven counties to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity. With the help of the Fort Gordon Adopt-a-School program, the amount of registered CyberPatriot teams in the area has increased from six teams to over 100 teams. Fort Gordon brigades are providing CyberPatriot mentorship to coaches and students through its Adopt-A-School program, and more than 1,000 hours of professional development has been offered for local teachers to help extend cyber education.
Additionally, the Fort Gordon Cyber District (Alliance for Cyber Education) collaborated with the Georgia State Department of Education to develop a four-year Cyber Security Curriculum to prepare students to pursue Cyber Security postsecondary degrees and careers. Three high schools are already in their second year of implementation. For the younger students, the Alliance has helped distribute CyberPatriot’s Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative to regional education committee representatives. The Alliance for Cyber Education has also provided instructors and materials for the region’s AFA Cyber Camp program.
For more information on the Fort Gordon Cyber District and CyberPatriot’s Center of Excellence program, visit http://uscyberpatriot.org/about/centers-of-excellence.