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Fort Hays State University and Cisco Networking Academy Champion Virtual Tiger Net Challenge


Online Education Done Right: Students Lauded for Demonstrating Technical Prowess During Multistate Networking Competition

HAYS, Kan., and SAN JOSE, Calif. - Cisco today announced the winners of the Tiger Net Challenge, a virtual competition designed by the Cisco® Networking Academy® and Fort Hays State University to demonstrate real-world critical problem-solving abilities and to honor excellence among students and Networking Academies.

The Tiger Net Challenge engaged more than 100 Networking Academy students across eight states to compete in three events: Router Wars, Net Bowl and Network Troubleshooting.

* Router Wars: Students competed in real time to capture control of a network. They had to anticipate their opponents’ strategies as well as launch malicious attacks and defend against them. This type of exercise prepares students to defend networks against such attacks in a professional setting.

* Net Bowl: This real-time quiz bowl format tested general networking knowledge. Students participated via Cisco WebExTM, an online collaboration service.

* Network Troubleshooting: In the final challenge, students raced to be the first to restore a pre-designed network using Cisco’s Packet Tracker 5.1 software.

“We are very proud to host such a prestigious networking competition,” said Mark Bannister, chair of the Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications at Fort Hays State University. “This is the first time this competition has been held, and it is very satisfying that competing students were so successful. The event and training leading up to it reinforce many of the critical skills that aspiring networking professionals need to master for successful careers in information technology.”

“Fort Hays State is pleased to provide a leadership role as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and as a Regional Cisco Networking Academy,” said Bannister. “We are proud to reach out to encourage high school, college, and university students to engage in a fun but very academically challenging and highly practical competition. We appreciate the opportunity to work with Cisco, a world-wide leader in networking technologies, to offer an opportunity for students to test their knowledge and skills against each other while remaining at their own school, college or university.”

The Cisco Networking Academy is a global technology education program that provides students with networking and technical skills to prepare them for careers in the 21st century. Committed to delivering the highest standard of information technology education to students of all nationalities, genders and economic brackets, the program is designed to offer students real-world skills that will position them for employment and career growth.

“This competition incorporated a variety of challenges that encouraged students to develop their networking knowledge and to think critically to solve real-life networking issues,” said Rosanna Bisges, senior manager for Cisco Networking Academy in the U.S. and Canada. “By taking full advantage of the Networking Academy curriculum, we are preparing the next generation of networking professionals to build, maintain and repair the advanced networks that will drive the economy of tomorrow.”
The 2009 Tiger Net Winners:

Router Wars

* Iowa Western Community College, Council Bluffs, Iowa

* Kaw Area Technical School, Topeka, KS.

* Campus High School, Haysville, KS.

Net Bowl

* Herndon Career Center, Raytown, MO.

* University of Wisconsin, Stout

* Cambridge-Isanti High School, Cambridge, MN.

Network Troubleshooting

* Herndon Career Center, Raytown, MO.

* Iowa Western Community College, Council Bluffs, Iowa

* Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD.

* University of Wisconsin, Stout

* Leavenworth High School, Leavenworth, KS.

Kevin R. MacRitchie, vice president and CTO, Global Defense, Space and Security, Cisco, CCIE 1079, presented a keynote speech at the event. He said, “Collaboration is an integral component of the fabric of business and life today. Fort Hays’ unique approach to weave Web 2.0 collaborative technologies to bring together multiple remote locations to compete and operate as one, proving technology can be the ’invisible tool’ of business and life, was certainly one of the most valuable experiences these students could have ever experienced.”


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