South Lakes High School rising sophomore Rob McNamara knows his way around a computer.
He has built a PC himself, and in May was the top-placing Fairfax County Public School sudent in the Cyber Foundations Spring 2011 High School competition.
The Cyber Foundations competition was conducted throughout March and April and featured a series of timed quizzes to test aptitude in networking, operating systems, and system administration.
Cyber Foundations is the entry-level competition in a series of increasingly challenging contests sponsored by the CIS Cybersecurity Workforce Development Division. The competition is billed as a learning opportunity for high school students and the first step in putting them on a path toward rewarding jobs in cyber security and information systems management.
Students were provided with tutorials and training materials to review in each of the three subject areas and then participated in a series of increasingly challenging quizzes focused on those foundational skills.
Nearly 1,000 students across 26 states, one U.S. Territory and 135 high schools took part. The top-scoring students in each school and state earned recognition, awards and scholarships for their achievements. Winners were announced on May 2. McNamara also placed second in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Renee McLaughlin, chair of the USCC, said Rob "excelled amongst his peers" and "demonstrated an interest and skill set that can be built upon to become one of the nations’ future cyber security professionals."
McNamara lives in Reston with his parents and two younger brothers. He will be taking a computer gaming modification course this summer at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.