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Timberland Has Two of the Top Three Teams in the 2024 MO High School Cybersecurity Challenge

High school teams from across Missouri competed in-person for the finals of the 2024 Missouri High School Cybersecurity Challenge, a cybersecurity competition hosted by the Missouri Research and Education Network, more commonly known as MOREnet. The ten finalist teams, composed of up to three students each, represented six Missouri school districts.  They spent the day, Tuesday, February 6 in Columbia to complete challenges designed by CYBER.ORG, a nonprofit cybersecurity workforce development organization. The real-world challenges immersed students into a virtual networked environment full of Easter eggs, puzzle files, and live devices where they were challenged to find, solve and access, respectively.

To qualify for the finals, an initial round of 65 teams that consisted of 181 students competed in a virtual capture-the-flag style contest that included encryption, programming, open-sourced intel and general cybersecurity best practices.  The first round took place January 16-18.

Each of the top three teams in the Cybersecurity Challenge was awarded a plaque, as well as bragging rights, prestige, and the lessons learned through competition that are in ever-growing demand.  

According to Natasha Angell, executive director for MOREnet, “We are proud to bring this event to schools from across the state; exciting interest and exposing students to a potential career in computer science is the first step in filling the talent gap.”  

At the end of the full day competition, these three teams took home top honors:

First place – Team Sudoers – Summit Technology Academy (Lee’s Summit)  - Coach Christy Buckner – Students: Arthur Schieszer, Jacob Klipfel, Thomas Kahler

Second place – Cyber @ THS – Timberland High School (Wentzville) – Coach Quentin Lee – Students: August Benne, Ben Jones, Charlie Weishaar (did not come to finals)

Third place – Phish-Fryers – Timberland High School (Wentzville) – Coach Quentin Lee – Students: Asher Nelson, Ryely Owens, Kelly Quick

This year’s competition was funded in part by Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education through Computer Science Standards funding.  Because of that partnership, there was no charge to schools from Missouri who wanted to participate, allowing young people from every corner of the state to experience top-tier cybersecurity curriculum.  According to Dr. Chuck Gardner, senior advisor for workforce development at the Cyber Innovation Center, “With nearly 10,000 cybersecurity job openings across the state (, Missouri has recognized the need to introduce K-12 students to the potential for careers in cybersecurity.” 

If you know a school or educator that would like access to the resources used to teach cybersecurity concepts, CYBER.ORG offers curriculum and educator materials at no cost to teachers or districts, thanks to funding from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).  Learn more on their website (  There are also free training courses hosted by MOREnet technology integration specialists about those resources.  View the training calendar and register for classes at