Cybersecurity Challenge Finals

  • Published: Monday, March 1, 2021

Eleven high school teams competed in the finals of the Missouri High School Cybersecurity Challenge on February 23 and 24. Teams were made up of two or three high school students who have a passion for cybersecurity and technology. During the competition, each student had access to a virtual environment that had a Windows 7 machine, a Kali Linux machine and other hidden assets on a network. They were given challenges around exploitations, reconnaissance and network scanning, programming, password cracking and auditing, reverse engineering, cryptography and trivia.

The Derp Wagon from Eldon High School was crowned the champion, scoring 735 points out of a possible 925 points. Coderunners from Willow Springs finished second, and Renegades from Summit Technology Academy rounded out the top three.

This was a valuable learning experience for all the students involved. The Derp Wagon Coach, Peggy Veatch, said, “My students were so excited every day to see themselves at or near the top … They’ve been talking computer/ tech language with each other all the time.”

Andrew Coursen, coach of two Willow Spring teams, added, “I hope (the students) gained an appreciation for the idea that security is more than a list of protocols and policies, but a real-life field that affects daily life.”

The Challenge came along at just the right time for Coach Jerry Weimer of West Plains High School. “I wanted something that was accessible to all of my students and that they would find interesting. I was excited when I saw that it was going to be a capture the flag style competition. I had just introduced my students to them the previous week, so they were pretty excited about it.”

Lisa Oyler, from Summit Technology Academy, said, “I was hoping to motivate kids in a year that has been hard. I tried to challenge them to think more critically and learn to do research on topics they are unfamiliar with.”

CYBER.org provided the CTF environment for round one in January and developed the challenges in the US Cyber Range for the finals. CYBER.org offers a free, grant-funded cyber curriculum, professional development for teachers and they host numerous events throughout the year. They are hosting a middle school CTF March 8-12 and a high school CTF April 19-23. If you know of teachers or students who might be interested, please pass these opportunities along to them.

Final Standings

top 10 timeline

FirstThe Derp WagonEldon High School
SecondCoderunnersWillow Springs High School
ThirdRenegadesSummit Technology Academy
FourthCodexRunnerWillow Springs High School
FifthLua LeopardsKickapoo High School
SixthCerebusSummit Technology Academy
SeventhSudo TitansSummit Technology Academy
EighthThree AmigosFestus High School
NinthSLUH Hack ClubSt. Louis University High School
10thParadoxicalsClayton High School
11thHoly GuacamoleWest Plains High School