The Cyberpatriot Club, the after-school Woodcraft Rangers program, made their way to Torres High School for the second round of the National Cyberpatriot competition. The club practiced every day to prepare for the competition.
“At first, every team had issues connecting to the internet because we went to a different school this time, [so] they set up different Wi-Fi’s networks so that way the firewall policies [and the] school policies, on the school’s internet wouldn’t interfere with the competition,” said Juventino Lopez, the club leader and coach for Cyberpatriot.
Everyone made it into the first two rounds, but the points are tallied up. Once the points are added, the teams are ranked Platinum, Gold or Silver. When ranked Platinum, the team automatically goes to the State round.
“Once the students make it to the final round, [they’re] scouts from Facebook, scouts from Twitter. Scouts from everywhere,” said Lopez. “After high school, maybe the kids won’t have to go to college to get a degree, to get that job. With this, they can get that job [or internship].” Companies look for students who they can hire and protect their online business.
Although the team did receive their tallied points, they are not ranked until the following week.
“The main problem that we run [into] every competition, is that we don’t know what is going to be on there; new stuff is always on there,” said Lopez. “That is why I have the kids go to training.”
Lopez usually had practice images using Linux or Windows 7 and depending on how well the students do and how much they know, he puts them in a team.
“One of the big challenges, first of all, [is] getting the kids to stay on task,” said Lopez.
But Lopez is not the only one who thinks concentration is a big key to their success in the competition.
Jeffrey Serrano, a senior in Health, Science & Environment small school, said that a challenge was his “Team [getting] distracted because we’re on a time limit to solve three computers and sometimes we [do] get distracted.”
Serrano has been in the club since freshmen year and he hopes to “Pass down [his] knowledge to the remaining students that are going to stay in the club [and] hopefully be as good as [him] and do better.”
“If they’re interested in computers, they should join [the club] because it opens up opportunities for them in the future, [like] scholarships [and] possible jobs in computer security,” Serrano said.