MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Cyber security is on the minds of thousands this week as they gather in Montgomery for the three-day Air Force Information Technology Conference. But, before the conference gets underway, a competition was held to kick things off.
"We've had an opportunity to let students - as well as it professionals - that are active duty military and within the industry compete in a variety of challenges over the last four days," said Education Foundation Director Charisse Stokes.
The competition is called Innovate AFITC. It's a collaboration competition for science, technology, engineering, math and cybersecurity.
According to Stokes, the competition isn't just about winning.
"It's really about the opportunity for students to collaborate for those to learn more about information technology," Stokes said.
Dr. Virginia Vilardi is a teacher at Wetumpka High School. She and her students attended Innovate AFITC last year, and because of its success, decided to come back this year.
"We brought our students back again because they had so much fun last year," Vilardi said.
Vilardi said the connections her students make with the industry professionals at the event are priceless.
"The interaction between students and professionals is just an experience you can't get in the classroom," Vilardi said.
The Air Force ITC conference begins Monday and runs through Wednesday.