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The State of North Dakota Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley today announced the upcoming Cyber Madness Middle School tournaments. The North Dakota Middle School Cyber Madness tournament is a two-round challenge designed for, and open to, all ND middle school students. Students will work in teams of four to solve a variety of cybersecurity challenges. Round one will be held virtually and conducted statewide on Oct. 28. Prior experience with cybersecurity is not required for participation. Students will be provided instruction and resources with our partners from CYBER.ORG, who are moderating the event.

Participants will Capture the Flag (CTF) – a competition format for a fun, interactive cybersecurity challenge. The CTF is set up ‘Jeopardy-style’, where users will choose a challenge from a board similar to a game of Jeopardy.

The top 10 qualifying teams—five teams from the east and five teams from the west-- advance to the finals where in-person, simultaneous events will take place in Minot and Grand Forks on Nov. 18.  The ten finalist teams will compete for the statewide crown and awards. 

During the final competition, students will use real-world security tools in a virtual environment made up of Windows machines, Linux machines and servers.

CYBER.ORG will provide the Cyber Range which will test students' problem-solving skills, research abilities and understanding of cybersecurity concepts.

Students interested in participating in the competition should understand concepts around security and computer networks. Knowledge materials and instruction will be provided to the students. Regardless of skill level, the tournament is an opportunity to learn new skills and concepts while working in a safe environment.

"Bringing this tournament to North Dakota middle school is invaluable. NDIT is committed to increasing the number of young people going into the pipeline for this important professional field,” Riley said. “Our hope is this tournament will be a key step toward that important goal."


Sept. 13

    Registration opens

Oct. 28

    Preliminary round - online

Nov. 18

    Finals: Minot & Grand Forks in-person

Middle Schools can register for the competition at: bit.ly/MSCyberMadness

“After the success of the ND Cyber Madness High School Tournament, we are excited to expand the opportunity to middle-schoolers to participate in a cybersecurity tournament that will get them engaged and enthusiastic about learning skills and problem solving that helps shape their aptitude for the technology careers of the future.” said Rosi Kloberdanz, Director of NDIT-EduTech and the ND PK-20W Initiative. 

Interested sponsors, see: Cyber Madness Sponsorships for descriptions and each of the benefits that accompany the sponsorship and a Commitment Form to solidify your slot for this year. The Cyber Madness website will continue to contain up to the minute information on activities, scholarships, and awards.

The ND Cyber Madness Middle School planning partners include:   

•           North Dakota Information Technology - EduTech

•           Career and Technical Education

•           Department of Public Instruction  

•           Department of Emergency Services

•           Department of Health and Human Services  

•           CYBER.ORG  

For questions and more information, please contact the ND Cyber Madness Planning Committee at: ndcybermadness@k12.nd.us


CYBER.ORG, formerly the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), is a cybersecurity workforce development organization that targets K-12 students with cyber career awareness, curricular resources, and teacher professional development. The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) supports CYBER.ORG through a grant from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to develop and distribute cybersecurity education content to educators across the country at no cost. Currently, more than 25,000 teachers across all 50 states and four U.S. territories are enrolled in the CYBER.ORG content platform. For more information, please visit http://www.cyber.org

About ND PK-20W:

Cyber Madness is an initiative of the ND PK-20W coalition, which focuses on computer science and cybersecurity education, a statewide, comprehensive approach to help students, and the state, compete in highly competitive, technology-driven industries. Code named “PK-20W” to reflect every student from pre-kindergarten through PhD and workforce, the coalition is comprised of more than 40 public and private sector partners who share a goal of “Every Student. Every School. Cyber Educated.”


C O N T A C T : 

Alisa Cook      |    701-328-7408  


Jecca Geffre    |      701-955-0304  



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