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Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit Competition Celebrates Virtual Winners

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Elm Grove Middle for Middle School Division

For its 10th year, the Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit (RARC) went virtual! A global pandemic couldn’t keep students across Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas from competing in two cyber challenges this school year. Over 1,000 elementary, middle, and high school students from 12 districts participated in Virtual RARC and expanded their cybersecurity knowledge.

Virtual RARC was designed to help meet the unique challenges that many schools faced this year. Using a virtual Capture The Flag platform, set up in a “Jeopardy” style, students worked to solve coding, programming and encryption challenges. Cyber careers and math questions were also included to round out the challenges. Students had four days to solve challenges and submit their answers as flags. Competition 1 was held in November and Competition 2 was held in April. Users accumulated points based on their correct submissions and were ranked accordingly.

Virtual RARC Competition 1 was held the week of November 16, 2021. Over 83,000 virtual submissions came from students as they worked through the challenges. In the Elementary division, South Highlands Elementary in Caddo Parish emerged as the first-place winner followed by Montessori School of Ruston in second place, and St. Jude the Apostle Catholic School in Baton Rouge in third place. Greenacres Middle School in Bossier triumphed in the middle school division and was awarded first place. Montessori School of Ruston also won second place in the middle school division and St. Jude the Apostle Catholic School in Baton Rouge was named the third-place winner. In the High School division, Airline High School in Bossier City earned first place while Catholic High School in Baton Rouge and The Dunham School in Baton Rouge took second and third place respectively.

Competition 2 was held the week of April 12, 2021. There were over 69,000 virtual submissions for this competition. In the elementary division, there was a first-place tie! First place was awarded to South Highlands Elementary in Caddo Parish. First place was also awarded to JS Clark Magnet in Monroe City Schools. Second place was awarded to Baton Rouge International School. Third place was awarded to Sallie Humble Elementary from Monroe City Schools. In the Middle School Division, Caddo Middle Magnet in Caddo Parish emerged as the first-place winner followed by Greenacres Middle School in Bossier Parish in second place and Elm Grove Middle School in Bossier Parish in third place. In the High School Division, The Dunham School in Baton Rouge was awarded first place. Second place was awarded to Airline High School in Bossier Parish followed by Live Oak High School in Livingston Parish in third place.

“For RARC’s 10th year, our committee was determined to still offer an informal learning opportunity for our RARC participants. We knew that schools would be under unique restrictions, and we wanted to offer the flexibility to compete at school or at home. Our focus was to create challenges that could introduce cybersecurity to students,” said Charlene Cooper, RARC Coordinator for CYBER.ORG

RARC is sponsored by the Cyber Innovation Center’s CYBER.ORG, the City of Bossier City, Bossier Parish Schools, and Caddo Parish Schools. To learn more about RARC, please visit https://regionalrobotics.org/ or the RARC Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RegionalAutonomousRoboticsCircuit/.

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