Bay Arenac ISD students win Capture the Flag

Northwood and Dow partner to deliver experiential learning experience

Students from the Bay Arenac Middle School District were the winners of the first Capture the Flag event hosted on Friday, April 29 by Northwood University.

Northwood invited high school students to enter the competition, as well as students of management information systems, computer science and cybersecurity from the University of Midland.

“The event is themed around cybersecurity – operational and physical,” said David Sanford, director of the Department of Management Information Systems at Northwood University. “There were numbers that needed to be deciphered. Students had to search for answers to questions and perform hacking and cracking techniques to decrypt the data in order to access the answers. They also had to find passwords to access certain databases.

Northwood obtained parental permission for each of the high school students who participated, as the exercise involved hacking/cracking tools to find passwords and other information.

Northwood has partnered with Dow to host Friday’s Capture the Flag event.

“We wanted to provide our students with an experiential learning experience,” Sanford said. “The cybersecurity department was talking about having a Capture the Flag event, and we mentioned it during our advisory meeting. Our advisory board includes two Dow members who work in cybersecurity and IT. They responded and volunteered to do it for us.

The goal was for Northwood students to leave with an invigorated view of their chosen field.

“They should have a better understanding of how hackers gain access to systems through reverse-engineered passwords and encryption and decryption techniques,” Sanford added. “And the same goes for our other participants – including the 14 students who joined us from Bay Arenac ISD.”

The teams competed for first, second and third place. Winners received prizes including Beats Solo3 wireless headphones; Razer Huntsman Mini 60% Gaming Keyboard; and Razer Kraken Ultimate RGB USB Gaming Headset: THX 7.1. All students received Northwood loot for participating.

For more information on Northwood’s Information Systems and Cybersecurity programs, visit our main Information Systems and Cybersecurity page.

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