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NARRAGANSETTâ€”The countryâ€™s capability in designing computer programs and governmental protocols for preventing cyber attacks rests largely on the shoulders of todayâ€™s students. Using computers and the internet is now an integral part of the primary schoolâ€™s syllabus, and the genesis of future research will come from the high school and university levels. Luca Spinazzola, a senior at Narragansett High School, is a beneficiary.
Spinazzola recently placed first in Rhode Island for the Cyber Foundations Competition, an aptitude test which focuses on three essential skill sets for understanding cyber security: networking, operating systems, and system administration. Students across the United States were provided with study materials and took the tests throughout March and April.
â€śI read on the news the other day that a lot of people had their credit card info and identities stolen,â€ť said Spinazzola. â€śThis competition is really important.â€ť
students from 135 schools throughout the United States took part in the testing. Spinazzola will receive $100 and a trophy from the SANS Institute, a cyber security research and education group.
â€śCyber skills should be a core fundamental of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, which are critical to improving innovation,â€ť said Congressman James Langevin. â€śBy supporting initiatives like this competition, Rhode Island can take the lead in a field that is becoming in increasingly high demand.â€ť
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