Six Compass Academy students have been named national cyber academics after competing in a 48-hour cybersecurity competition.
Thousands of high school students competed in a series of computer security flag captures and code-breaking puzzles from April 5-7. Each puzzle completed by the students earned them a secure “flag” code that earned them points.
The competition was organized by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on preparing students for potential careers in cybersecurity. The best-performing students received $ 2,500 college scholarships and were invited to a cyber training and certification course conducted by the foundation.
The winning Compass Academy students were Karina Hansen, Kaleb Jennings, Zoe Johnson, Raymond Kalwarf, Collin Morgan and Wyatt Nilsson. Four other Idaho highs the schoolchildren were named cyberscientists: two from Boise, one from Meridian and one enrolled in Gem Prep Online.
The Idaho National Laboratory had encouraged local students to participate in the contest and related CyberStart America program in recent years. The lab’s STEM program manager Jennifer Jackson said in a press release that recent events such as the colonial pipeline attack had made the role of cybersecurity experts more remarkable.
“We are very proud to support Idaho students in their passion for learning in fields like cybersecurity that will be vital in the years to come,” Jackson said.
Nathan Peck, another Compass Academy student, was one of four finalists for the awards in Idaho.
Brennen is the chief educational informant at the Post Office Registry. Contact him with news tips at 208-542-6711.