Students from Exeter West Greenwich Regional High School, Cranston High School East and Warwick Area Career and Technical Center have won the top three spots in Rhode Island’s second Cyber Foundations competition. Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), who brought the event to the state as part of his effort to develop young talent and create jobs in a growing industry, commended the winners and applauded all of the 201 participants from 12 high schools for their commitment to advancing their computer skills. Rhode Island doubled its number of competitors from the first competition this past spring.
Adam Sowden of Exeter West Greenwich Regional High School placed first, followed by Jeffrey Tipton from Cranston High School East and Timothy Gelinas from the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center. They will be recognized at an awards ceremony for all participants in January at the New England Institute of Technology, where they, along with the top student from each school, will receive prizes.
Langevin launched the contest a year ago by forming a partnership with organizations including the Rhode Island Department of Education, the Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council, Tech Collective and the New England Institute of Technology, which took the lead in administering the competition.
“We must create a skilled workforce in areas like cybersecurity to compete in the global economy,” said Langevin, who co-founded the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus. “Cyber skills should be a core fundamental of the science, technology, engineering and math [STEM] fields, which are critical to improving innovation. By supporting initiatives like this competition, Rhode Island can take the lead in high-skill, high-tech fields that are in increasingly high demand and that can provide sustainable job growth.
“I applaud Adam, Jeffery and Timothy for their phenomenal performance as part of a very talented field and look forward to congratulating them in person next month. I also want to thank all of the school administrators, teachers, organizations and, most of all, students who have participated in one of the most popular cyber competitions in the country.”
The Rhode Island Cyber Foundations Competition was conducted by the Center for Internet Security and overseen by the New England Institute of Technology under the supervision of state coordinator Erin Flynn. Three timed quizzes took place from Oct. 21 through Nov. 18, testing the aptitude of high school students in the most important foundational skills of effective cyber security: networking, operating systems and system administration. Students were provided with tutorials and training materials to review in each of the three subject areas and then participated in a series of increasingly challenging quizzes focused on those foundational skills.
The state’s top three finishers, as well as the top finisher at each high school, will receive engraved awards, with the state champion also given a $250 gift card.
Cyber Foundations is one of several initiatives underway through the U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC), and is conducted through collaboration with the SANS Institute.
The Center for Internet Security (CIS) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the cyber security readiness and response of public and private sector entities, with a commitment to excellence through collaboration. CIS comprises three divisions: Security Benchmarks Division, Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center and the Cybersecurity Workforce Development Division.
The USCC is a national coalition of public-private sector entities collaborating to enhance the workforce with the next generation of cyber security professionals through skill development activities, mentoring and resources, and the facilitation of scholarship, internship and employment opportunities.