Students earn first place in cyber competition at TechNet Conference

This year’s TechNet Augusta event welcomed more than 5,000 participants and included members of U.S. Army Cyber Command, the Army Cyber Center of Excellence, and a mix of service cyber components, agencies, industry, academia, military services, and more. The convention featured discussions around leveraging innovative technology, advancing cybersecurity and building new relationships between the military, academia and industry sectors.

The capture the flag event is a featured part of the convention, in which middle and high schools from across the CSRA compete in a jeopardy-style event. Topics covered included Binary Exploitation, Reverse Engineering, Web Exploitation, Cryptography, Forensics, and Security. In the competition, students utilize skills such as critical thinking, math, and teamwork, among others to find holes in operating systems and programs. Finding and exploiting vulnerabilities is an important skill in cyber that is utilized across many sectors of business such as education, finance, and engineering, in addition to military and cyber security, and others.   

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Columbia County School District students’ cyber skills were on full display during the Capture the Flag competition. The Greenbrier High GHS Phishing Team took first place in the High school competition, and Harlem High’s WannaBark team earned third place.

Greenbrier Middle School students swept the competition, representing four of the six middle school teams to compete in the middle school competition. They earned second, third, fourth, and sixth places.

In addition, Greenbrier High Life Sciences teacher Crystal McDowell was recognized at the convention for earning the AFCEA Dr. Sandra Carraway Award, for her dedication to STEM education in our schools.

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“This was a great opportunity for our military and government leaders to see the next generation of cyber at work, and the vast majority of those students were representing the Columbia County School District,” said Dr. Steve Flynt, Superintendent. “We are so proud of the continued partnership we have with our cyber stakeholders across the state and look forward to continuing the great work happening to identify all of the connections between cyber and general education.”

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