Computer Science Student Achievements

October 27, 2023

By Rebekah Randall
Computer Science and Mathematics Teacher
Canterbury High School

Recently, two Canterbury High School students had some amazing Computer Science-related achievements.  

Stella VandeWater '24 passed her GIAC Foundational Cybersecurity Technologies (GFACT) test and is now certified! GFACT certifications validate a person's knowledge of important foundational cybersecurity concepts. This certification is highly recommended for people starting a career in the industry.

"GFACT-certified professionals are familiar with theoretical and practical skills in computers, technology, and security fundamentals that are needed to kickstart a career in cybersecurity."  

Because she achieved so many points in the CyberStart America contest last year, a summer prep class, the exam, and the exam materials were free for her.

Makaio Surendran '25 was one of the first in the United States to complete Harvard's "Ready Player 50" hackathon.  Students used their knowledge of cyber security and AI to progress through a series of more and more difficult challenges.  

"The CS50 Duck has a secret. Can you convince it to reveal its secret? Join CS50 and for a challenge in which you’ll face none other than CS50’s duck debugger, aka ddb, an experimental AI for rubberducking. But be warned: each time you crack the code, the CS50 Duck will “level up” and become more protective.

Along the way, learn about prompt engineering and, in turn, prompt-injection attacks, which can be a problem with large language models. This challenge is a new version of the world-famous prompt-injection game Gandalf, specifically designed for CS50."