Williston Wildhackers Win National Championship of Girls Go CyberStart 2020!

The Williston Wildhacker team of Abby Dennin ’20, Sophie Gontow Calderon ’21, Anfisa Bodganenko ’21, and Morgan Strange ’20 took home the national title over 268 other teams in the Girls Go CybserStart 2020 competition!

The team’s advisor, Kim Evelti, had this to say:

I am incredibly proud of the team’s ability to work collaboratively AND independently in our first year of such a rigorous and challenging competition. It’s hard to express just how difficult some of these coding challenges were! We also never imagined that we’d be working on the final stage of the competition from all around the globe, but the team found ways to communicate and support one another from a distance. We are just thrilled that we were able to show what a powerhouse Williston coders can be!

Well done team!

About the team and competition:

  • A group of Williston students started a coding club this year with the express purpose of engaging in the GirlsGoCyberStart competition. Sophie Gontow Calderon lead the charge in starting a club, engaged me as an advisor, and built a team to try the three-stage competition. You can find more info here.
  • Everyone who makes it through a certain number of challenges in the “assess” stage (the first stage) is eligible to move on to the “game” stage (#2). At this point, school teams have to complete a certain number of challenges to be invited to compete in nationals. Teams invited to nationals are allowed to nominate four students to participate. Our team was able to qualify and Abby Dennin, Sophie Gontow Calderon, Morgan Strange, and Anfisa Bogdanenko were selected (by points) to represent Williston at Nationals.
  • Nationals took place (virtually) over two days, May 20-21. The students faced a wide variety of coding challenges and collaborated across the globe to solve them.

In the end, by the leaderboard Williston ended up winning the group competition!

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