Sen. Mark Warner Praises Forest Park High School’s iT students for their support of the VA STAR program.
May 11, 2018 – U.S. Sen. Mark Warner had high praise for students and staff at Forest Park High School during a visit to see the work of the Virginia Student Training and Refurbishment program—better known as VA STAR. The Senator came to acknowledge the students’ great work fixing and updating surplus computers that be will soon be given free to five schools across Virginia though the Computers for Schools Program.*
That’s just the tip of the iceberg for VA STAR. The program began at Forest Park, spread to multiple Prince William County Public Schools and now, with PWCS help, continues to help schools across the Commonwealth. Currently in 70 schools in 44 districts, VA STAR teaches students to refurbish surplus computers and related hardware from government agencies and private companies.
Upgraded equipment goes to families, organizations, and school districts that otherwise couldn’t afford it. Students who do repairs, refurbishing, and updates gain expertise to help them earn industry-standard certifications that can pave the way to higher education and well-paying jobs.
Senator Warner praised VA STAR and Forest Park for preparing students for the their future.
“We’ve got to make sure people are equipped with the skills to have the kind of jobs they’re going to need in the 21st Century,” he said. “Your ability to demonstrate you’ve mastered this skill is going to be the key to your career.”
During his visit Senator Warner met a graduate of the Forest Park’s VA STAR program who now runs SLABLE, a local information technology and communications solution company. High Tech leader Karl Stallknecht credits his success, in great part, to the experience he gained at Forest Park.
VA STAR is paying off for those in need too. To date it has fixed, upgraded, and even trained many of the new owners of more than 14,000 computers.
The program is coordinated through the SPARK Education Foundation of Prince William County Public Schools, primarily from the model-site at Forest Park High School.
Forest Park High School CyberPatriot Team Wins Gold Division 2nd Place Award for states.
Cyber Patriot –2nd in the State and 7th in the Nation in the Gold Division
DATELINE – A team of students from Forest Park High School in Woodbridge Virginia recently concluded an exceptional round of competition in the tenth season of CyberPatriot – the Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.
Established by AFA in 2009, CyberPatriot is designed to excite, educate, and motivate students toward careers in cyber security and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future.
CyberPatriot’s core program – the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition – challenges teams of students across the United States, Canada, and from DoDD schools abroad, to find and resolve cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated environments. Top teams from the preliminary online rounds earn an all-expenses-paid trip to Baltimore, Md., for the in-person National Finals Competition, where students compete for national recognition and scholarships.
The CyberPatriot field is divided into three divisions – the Open Division for public, private, and home school teams; the All Service Division for JROTC, Civil Air Patrol, and Naval Sea Cadet Corps teams; and the Middle School Division. Based on the results of two preliminary rounds, CyberPatriot X high school teams were categorized within their divisions as Platinum, Gold, or Silver Tier teams, with Platinum Tier teams representing the highest scoring teams.
Led by Coach Mike Wiczalkowski, the team of students from Forest Park High school excelled in the CyberPatriot X State Round held Jan. 19-21, demonstrating teamwork, critical thinking skills, and technical knowledge key to a successful career in cybersecurity. The team’s performance earned it State’s 2nd Place Award and a spot in the Platinum/Gold/Silver Tier Semifinal Round held this month.
Following the Regional/Category Round and Middle School Division Semifinals Round, top teams in the Open and All Service Divisions’ Platinum Tier and the top three Middle School Division teams nationally will advance to the CyberPatriot X National Finals Competition in Baltimore, Md., in April.