Middle schoolers showcase cybersecurity skills in state competition in Minot, Grand Forks

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 8:49 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) – Some bright middle schoolers took over the Minot State campus Friday to showcase their IT skills, as part of a special state competition.

Minot State hosted the west schools that qualified for this year’s Cyber Madness competition.

Teams from Horizon, Shiloh, Simle, and Wachter schools represented the west, while schools in the eastern part of the state were headquartered in Grand Forks.

The students competed virtually in competitions like “capture the flag” as well as determining “ciphers”—things that would apply to cybersecurity in the real world.

Some of their teachers said they’re seeing growing interest in the field.

“I heard about this competition that was coming up, and we’re like, ‘Oh it’s the first year a middle school can do this? Let’s try it!’ And it opened up a whole new world to know how many students were actually interested in this career choice. It was awesome!” said Summerly Iverson-Houston, an educator from Wachter Middle School.

Teachers said there’s a good chance they’ll continue to expand their curriculum in the years to come to match interest in the field, and need for future IT workers.

Congrats to Horizon Middle School’s “Phish Kids” who took first place!

Fairmount Public School took second, and St. John’s Academy finished third.

Horizon Middle School's "Phish Kids" win Cyber Madness
Horizon Middle School's "Phish Kids" win Cyber Madness(North Dakota Information Technology)