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Bob Jones AFJROTC accepts laptop donation from Aleta, MITRE

MADISON – Two local businesses have equipped Bob Jones CyberPatriots with laptops that are essential for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM contests.

Bob Jones CyberPatriots with Air Force JROTC received laptop computers from Aleta Technologies and MITRE.

Created by the Air Force Association, CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program that inspires K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other STEM disciplines, Dr. Maj. Melissa M. Lacey said. Lacey is Senior Aerospace Science Instructor at Bob Jones.

The National Youth Cyber Defense Competition puts students in charge of securing virtual networks. Teams are required to locate and fix vulnerabilities in Windows 10, Windows Server and Unbuntu systems.

For the competition’s first round in November 2020, teams competed using computers on a designated network and connected via ethernet to prevent Wi-Fi dropping. However, Bob Jones’ practice laptops did not have ethernet capabilities.

Fortunately, Lee Ann Pessoney, IT teacher at James Clemens High School, serves as mentor to Bob Jones’ teams. “Lee Ann was very cooperative in loaning us correctly configured laptops to compete,” Lacey said. “It was a humbling experience to have to borrow laptops from our competing team and rival school.”

Searching for laptops, Lacey asked the Air Force Association if any members’ organizations would loan laptops for the season. Association president, retired Lt. Col. John Pennell “sent an email blast to members. The response was immediate,” Lacey said.

“Scott Patton with MITRE and Jay Kurowsky with Aleta Technologies are members of AFA and appreciate the importance of teaching our students cybersecurity,” Lacey said. “AFA members are a tight group. We always strive to help each other. Donating the laptops is part of supporting STEM education, and both companies have a strong investment in cybersecurity in our local economy.”

“Our AFJROTC CyberPatriot teams would not have been able to fully compete in CyberPatriot XIII without the donations of the laptops. Our deepest appreciation to both Aleta Technologies and MITRE for their timely donations,” Lacey said. Students also loaded MS Flight Simulator for classroom use.

Air Force Association, Tennessee Valley Chapter 335 is an independent, professional military and aerospace education association promoting public understanding of aerospace power and its pivotal role in national security. “The local chapter provides phenomenal support to local Air Force JROTC units through scholarships, awards and lectures,” Lacey said.

Membership in Air Force Association is open to all airmen and anyone who supports aerospace power’s importance. Visit AFA-Huntsville.org.

For more information, visit aletatechnologies.com or mitre.org.

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