Hunterdon County Vocational School District Students Make Good Showing   At National Cyber Scholarship Competition 

Hunterdon County Vocational School District Students Make Good Showing  

At National Cyber Scholarship Competition

 

FLEMINGTON, N.J. – Some 27 students from the Hunterdon County Vocational School District’s (HCVSD) Computer Science & Applied Engineering Academy (CSAEA) qualified to compete in CyberStart America, a national cyber scholarship competition, held in early April. CSAEA had the highest ratio of qualifiers than any other school in New Jersey.

 

CSAEA students made a good showing at Nationals, participating among 3,277 students nationwide. CSAEA III students Richard Li and Bradley Emmons placed in the top 10% and top 25% in the nation, respectively, while CSAEA IV student Ioannis Skoulidas placed among the top 35% in the nation. Other CSAEA III students who performed well include Abigail Fischer and Matias Lopez, both finishing in the top 55% in the nation, and Gabriel Shaban, who finished in the top 65%.

 

CSAEA Instructor Justin Montgomery explained that CyberStart America is a “Capture the flag (CTF)” competition. He said these competitions encourage students to “pull together a wide breadth of technical knowledge and experience to solve challenges modeled after real-world problems in the field of cybersecurity.” Montgomery said the competition requires specific skills, including proficiency in Linux, Python and JavaScript.

 

“The students really get a lot of credit here,” explained Montgomery. “Capture the Flag competitions are fierce and require participants to persevere in thinking outside of the box.”

 

Montgomery believes the students succeeded because of their technical background, resourcefulness and problem-solving abilities. “CSAEA I and CSAEA II set the stage for student success on tasks involving the Internet and programming,” explained Montgomery. “CSAEA III builds on this knowledge with a focus on cybersecurity.”

 

Previously, 34 CSAEA students – 16 seniors and 18 juniors – had competed at the state level with a record-breaking 2,188+ New Jersey students. Among those registered, 585 students solved 20% or more of the challenges that tested skills in password cracking, reverse-engineering, memory corruption and cryptography to qualify as semi-finalists.

 

Participating at the state level, CSAEA students earned one gold badge – completing 60% of the 236 challenges – and 2 silver badges.

 

Caption: Hunterdon County Vocational School District Computer Science & Applied Engineering Academy (CSAEA) III students Richard Li and Bradley Emmons placed in the top 10% and top 25% in the nation, respectively, at CyberStart America, a national cyber scholarship competition.

 

Hunterdon County Vocational School District offers three full-time, science-based Academies: the Biomedical Sciences Academy (BSA), the Computer Science & Applied Engineering Academy (CSAEA) and the Environmental Sustainability & Engineering Academy (ESEA). The district’s largest school is Hunterdon County Polytech Career and Technical School, a shared-time high school that prepares students for a seamless transition to college and career paths. HCVSD also operates an Adult & Continuing Education school. Learn more at www.hcvsd.org.

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All pupils will be given equal opportunity for enrollment in programs operated by the Hunterdon County Vocational School District regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender, religion, disability, or socioeconomic status (34 C.F.R. Part 100, Appendix B, Section IV-A). No qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which receives federal financial assistance, et seq (34 C.F.R. Part 104.4(a)(b).

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