Frequently Asked Questions

When and where will the competition be held?
The competition will be held at Illinois State University in Normal on Friday, April 4, 2014

How many schools will participate?
Eight schools will be selected to be in the competition.

How many students can be on each team?
Participating schools will field a team of four to eight students.

How many advisors are needed?
One or Two.

How will the teams get to ISU?
Schools will need to provide their own transportation to the competition.

Will there be food?
The competition will provide lunch and other snacks to the teams during the competition.

What does the team need to do to prepare?
The competition difficulty will be appropriate for high school students who have only little experience with computer and network configuration. The following skills are helpful, but not necessary to participate:
  • Windows configuration
  • Use of Ubuntu Linux
  • Experience with home wireless routers
  • Basic understanding of anti-virus and firewalls
  • Basic understanding of authentication using passwords
Can we get help preparing?
The competition organizers will visit each team at least once to help them prepare.  Additionally, the competition organizers will provide links to publicly available materials that can help the teams prepare.

I'm a student. Why should I be interested?
One of the main reasons is the fun you will have. Our students at ISU have been involved in a similar competition for five years.  Every year the students remark how fun the competition is and how much they learned.  Additionally, students have used the competition as a means to build their resume.  Companies are very interested in those who participate in the competition.  

I'm an advisor.  Why should I be interested?
The competition is a great way to motivate students to learn and to give them the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge in a fun environment.  

I'm an advisor.  What will I be doing during the competition?
Students are on their own during the competition. Advisors need to be at the competition, but they are not allowed to coach their students.  For a portion of the competition, ISU will offer short course on privacy and security in education for continuing eduction credit so that your time at the competition will be productive.

I have a question that is not on this FAQ.  What should I do?
Email the competition organizers at  We will be happy to answer your questions.