By Kimberley Donoghue
PBN Web Editor
WARWICK – U.S. Rep. James R. Langevin announced the launch of the second annual R.I. Cyber Foundations Competition on Sept. 20.
The contest tests the computer networking skills of high school students while introducing them to the field of cyber security. The contest is also looking for volunteer mentors, workshop speakers and other outreach volunteers in the business, military, education, and nonprofit sectors.
The three timed quizzes, about 1 hour each, test skills in networking, operating systems, and system administration. Students are provided with tutorials and training materials to review in each subject areas; preparation is expected to require between two to six hours per segment.
The first test, on networking, will take place on Oct. 21; the second, on operating systems, on Nov. 4; and the third, on system administration, on Nov. 18.
“As the cyber threats against our government, military, private businesses and personal information increase exponentially, our nation remains woefully lacking in qualified professionals who can thwart and respond to disruptions and attacks,” said Langevin, co-founder of the bipartisan Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus.
“However, this shortfall also presents an opportunity for Rhode Island to take a lead role in building a new workforce that is in high demand across the public and private sectors, which offers tremendous potential for job creation and economic growth in our state. The Cyber Foundations Competition is a centerpiece of this effort, developing potential talent for our future workforce with the skills companies need.”
Last year, 91 competitors from 17 schools participated from Rhode Island, the third highest number of participants across 26 states. Luca Spinazzola, a senior at Narragansett High School, won the top prize.
Participants must register by Oct. 14 with Erin Flynn from the New England Institute of Technology by emailing email@example.com as well as the Center of Internet Security. Individuals and schools which want to open the event to an unlimited number of students can register.
The Cyber Foundations Competition began last year with the help of the New England Institute of Technology, the state’s Department of Education, the R.I. Science and Technology Advisory Council, and the Tech Collective.