Woodcraft Rangers, an after school program, provides students an opportunity to gain skills in the technology field. Known as CyberPatriot Competition, it is a club where students brush up on their digital literacy skills and learn basic and complex terms and computer techniques.
Evelyn Lopez, a senior in the Tech & Media magnet, said, “After one year of being in the club I got to know people from different backgrounds who share similar interests as me.”
Aside from the club, students compete in groups against other high schools and are placed in a position as IT (information technology) professionals, assigned to manage a network of a small company.
In each round, the group is given virtual images that function as simulations of operating systems and are expected to identify cyber security weaknesses. The goal is to score the most points in every given round until the final round that determines whether the group continues on to the National Finals held in Baltimore.
Juventino Lopez, club leader, said “I see potential,” and he claims if the students place their passion for technology in their daily practices, they can accomplish things they believed were impossible. After Woodcraft Rangers acknowledged the potential of the program, they began to sponsor the club in order for them to gain access to equipment and technology to better the students’ skills.
Abraham Parra, co-coordinator and Woodcraft Rangers representative, details the benefits as students could practice and hone creativity, earn scholarships, and be exposed to individuals who have a career in the technology fields.
Careers in the tech field are commonly associated with those of the male gender. In CyberPatriot, students of both genders can be found hacking the motherboard together.
Evelyn said, “After seeing other girls in the club, it made me comfortable and encouraged me to do more.”
CyberPatriot welcomes anyone who is willing to put in hard work and determination to improve as a person.