Farmington sophomore qualifies for CyberStart competition

Karthikeya Thota
Karthikeya Thota (contributed)

Karthikeya Thota, a sophomore at Farmington High School, has qualified for the CyberStart America National Competition.

The competition is part of a Farmington Public Schools cybersecurity class piloted this year within the Career and Technical Education (CTE) course offerings open to 10th-12th grade students.

“The cybersecurity class gives students the opportunity to expand on their information technology and computer science skills to a more specialized field of study in the CTE IT area,” Jason Canfield, CTE IT/Business Teacher, said in a press release. “Cybersecurity is growing and becoming an increasingly vital career pathway for the 21st century and beyond.”

The CyberStart Competition gives students a chance to explore different careers, perform in hands-on virtual lab simulated environments, explore the areas of cryptography, digital forensics, and computer networks, he added.

“The cybersecurity class is an excellent and beginner-friendly class which is great for those who are trying to get into the cybersecurity industry,” Thota said. “Mr. Canfield teaches the basics of computer, server, and device protection, all while sharing how to find viruses, ransomware, Linux commands, and more. The one thing I love about this class is that we have to test computers for their vulnerabilities and write reports about them.”

Thota’s 16 badges, some of them including Linux command line and cryptography, earned him a spot at the CyberStart America National Competition, held virtually beginning April 5, 2021.

“CyberStart is very challenging and it motivates me to play more,” Thota said. “Within the game, there are different bases, HeadQuarters Base, Moon Base, Forensics Base, and Volonic Base. I am passionate about Moon Base because it focuses on programming and problem-solving.”

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