Five Wyoming Teams Compete in Cyber Challenge

Fifth Place Shoshoni High School’s team called the Shoshoni Hackers shown in computer lab.

On April 15, the Wyoming Department of Education and CyberWyoming Alliance teamed up to sponsor 5 teams in the MAGIC (Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Conservatory) challenge of virtual cybersecurity puzzles. 

Of those five teams, two reached the top 10.  Shoshoni High school was pushed from third to fifth place in the last few minutes of the challenge and Casper College received eighth place.

“It is exciting to have teams participating at the national level and to have two finishes in the top 10 teams nationwide. Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing industry sector that Wyoming is preparing students to enter through opportunities like this. We are so fortunate to have CyberWyoming and Wyoming business and industry partners working on behalf of Wyoming students,” said Dr. Michelle Aldrich, Wyoming Department of Education Career & Technical Education Director.

In the nationwide 24 team challenge, other Wyoming teams placed 12th (a second Casper College team), 15th (Code Ninjas of Casper Squad B), and 18th (Code Ninjas of Casper Squad A).  Results can be viewed here: https://online.ctfmagic.org/scoreboard.

“It is these types of events that get students interested in cybersecurity as a profession,” said Laura Baker, President of the CyberWyoming Alliance.  Not only is it a fun morning, but students get pizza (provided by CyberWyoming Alliance) and t-shirts and stickers (provided by MAGIC).

The challenge was on Saturday, April 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. mountain time.  Up to 4 people were on a team and there were five different levels of puzzles. 

As an example of a puzzle, the team may have downloaded a text file, examined the content, and figured out the puzzle answer.  If the answer is correct than a point value was awarded.

The Wyoming Department of Education paid for the teams registration fees and the CyberWyoming Alliance recruited, organized, and sent pizza to the teams. Schools and the teacher sponsors provided the classroom with computers for the team of four students, along with a local mentor.  The mentor could be a technology professional that already works for the school or from a local business.  Students were encouraged to work on each puzzle as a team, consulting the mentor(s) if they get stuck.

Casper College team during the MAGIC Capture the Flag Puzzle Challenge. Front row l-r Eric Crouse (studying Computer Science, Cybersecurity, and GIS) Justin Quan (will graduate with A.S. in Computer Science in May and is planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree at UW)

Back row l-r  Benjamin Watts (will complete his high school degree and his A.S. in Computer Science in May and will pursue a bachelor’s degree at UW)

Jonathan Rodriguez (studying Computer Science), Madalyn Amole (a high school student who is on track to finish her A.S. in Computer Science in May ’24)

Code Ninjas of Casper competing in the MAGIC Capture the Flag Puzzle Challenge on April 15.

Fifth Place Shoshoni High School’s team called the Shoshoni Hackers shown in computer lab.

Fifth Place Shoshoni High School’s team called the Shoshoni Hackers. Left to right: Adaline King (F), Zane Lucas (M), Alex Brown (M), John Dickinson (M).

More Challenges Coming – Register for Teens Exploring Careers Camp

June 16-21, Casper College, FREE

Register at https://cyberwyoming.org/camp/

Brought to you through grant funding by the Daniel’s Fund!

About the CyberWyoming Alliance

The CyberWyoming Alliance is a statewide, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Laramie whose mission is to increase cybersecurity awareness, education, and outreach in communities across the State of Wyoming. Information can be found at www.cyberwyoming.org/alliance or info@cyberwyoming.org.

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