Fergus' Terabytches take lessons from first trip to cyber security competition CyberTitan

An all-female team from Centre Wellington District High School in Fergus were in Ottawa this week competing in CyberTitan, a national cyber security competition.

All-female team competed in the 9-hour competition in Ottawa

The six students that make up the Falconer Terabytches cyber security team work on computers in the classroom lab they use for competitions at Centre Wellington District High School in Fergus. The team, which is in its rookie year, will be going to the CyberTitan national competition. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

It's was a gruelling nine-hour national competition to build secure computer networks and while the all-female team from Centre Wellington District High School didn't win, they say they're ready to try again.

"Watch out," the Falcontech Terabytches tweeted on Thursday as they headed home. "We have been infected with the cyber security bug."

The team competed at CyberTitan, a national cyber security competition held in Ottawa on Tuesday. On Wednesday evening at a gala, they learned they didn't place in the top three. Full results have not yet been released.

Still, team member Rachel Routly told CBC's Craig Norris, host of The Morning Edition, they had fun being part of the competition.

"The energy was really cool in comparison to other competitions we've done in the past, where we've been isolated in our room at school " Routly said.

For the competition, Routly said teams had to block out hackers from a network, delete corrupt files, complete a system purge and ensure the network was safe.

"Technically, there was a couple of places that we could have been a bit better in, but I think in teamwork and collaboration and working together, I think we did really well," she said.

Rachel Routly is a Grade 11 student. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

The Terabytches were the only all-female team in the competition, but Routly said she was also glad to see other girls also take part.

"We kind of knew going in that it was going to be majority male," she said. "It was cool that there were other girls and we weren't the only ones."

Timothy King, a tech teacher at Center Wellington and the team's adviser, said he was proud of how the team did against some very stiff competition.

"I'm fairly determined to build a team of our best assassins from this year's now experienced ninjas," King said. "We'll be back next year."

Listen to Rachel Routly's interview on The Morning Edition the day after the competition:


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