A group of IT security-savvy Wellesley High School students recently earned first place in the Massachusetts CyberPatriot competition.
They had hoped to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Baltimore for the National Finals in mid-April, but fell short in the semi-finals.
The all-junior team consisted of Alden Schmidt, Andy Lyu, Ethan Perry, Luis Hoderlein and James Sours, with Wellesley High teacher Robert Cohen as the coach. It was the first Wellesley High team to win the state championship, bettering the second place finish of one recent WHS team.
Established by the Air Force Association in 2009, CyberPatriot is designed to get students excited about careers in cybersecurity and other STEM fields. The competition revolves around spotting and resolving cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated environments.
Wellesley High’s team formed as an offshoot of the computer science club (WHS currently does not offer any formal computer security courses).
“Since I have been here, there has been a steady interest in computer security,” Cohen says. “The students [on this team] challenge each other and learn from other online competitions. It is a small, talented, engaged group.”