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Great Plains Technology Center class wins state cyber security competition

[Source KSWO] [Source KSWO]

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- A team of students from the Great Plains Technology Center is headed to Orlando Florida to match their skills against some of the best computer hackers across the nation.

They recently competed in Tulsa to test their hacking and network security skills against other students from Oklahoma.


At that competition, students acted as hackers trying to get into a computer system.


Two of the students took 1st place, while another took 2nd, and another finished 4th--all in different categories--which now qualifies them for nationals May 9th to May 14th.


Jason Nayak, Bryan Lavender, Tyler Robinson and Isaiah Smith all placed in the state competition.

Nayak was just one of the students who won first place in the high school division.

"It was exhilarating,” said Nayak. “It was like I didn't expect to get first place."

He said his interest in computers began when he was five years old.

"I would play like Sonic on a browser or Mario,” said Nayak.

Isaiah Smith said he too developed an interest when he was young.

"My dad he had his own computer business and I wanted to help,” said Smith.

That drive combined with the skills they've learned in the Cyber Security Forensics Specialist Program at Great Plains Technology Center is what Bryan Lavender, said led their team to success in the state competition.

"We were like testing ourselves,” said Lavender. “Looking up how to do certain things on Windows machines and all that."

He said they use real life computer situations as practice and combat attacks through different websites.

Smith said they wouldn't have been able to do as well as they did without the help of their instructor.

“Mr. Sloan often takes us through labs and just interactive exercises we use,” said Smith.

Great Plains instructor Wesley Sloan said he's confident his students will succeed in the national competition.

"What's great about these guys is they get in the lab and they say 'hey can we attack each other, can we net?' They just start learning,” said Sloan. “They take things and they go with it."

Lavender had a message to encourage others to take an interest in cyber security.

"There are vulnerabilities in computers nowadays and you need to prepare yourself if you are going to get attacked,” said Lavender. So, I think learning cyber security and helping others get into it will make the world a safer place."


This will be the third-year students in this program will participate in the national competition. 

To find out how these students do you can visit the conference website here.

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