By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4) – A competition between high school and middle school students took on one of the toughest problems of our time. The teenagers were ready to tackle cyber security.

(credit: CBS)

It may not look like it by their calm demeanor, but in a computer lab at Red Rocks Community College there is a fierce, white knuckle, high-stakes competition going on.

READ MORE: Arvada Police Search For Michael Kuhlow, Suspect In Deadly Stabbing

“We usually like totally freak out,” said Lydia Tan.

Lydia Tan (credit: CBS)

It’s called CyberPatriot, and it’s a competition hosted by the U.S. Air Force. Teams from all over the country try to find security problems and challenges for a fictional customer.

“We either like update the server, try to fix some bugs, search any hacking tools try to delete them… basically like refining the whole entire computer system,” Tan said.

(credit: CBS)

This team is a group of girls from D’evelyn Middle School in Denver. They’ve been competing in these competitions for a while, but Saturday is kind of a big one.

READ MORE: Larimer Deputies Force Stolen Car To Crash, Arrest Driver For Attempted Murder

If they win, they get a trip to the national finals in Baltimore.

“We did prepare a lot before this, so I am pretty confident that we might actually get to nationals,” said Tan.

And while a trip to nationals would be an honor, the skills these girls are learning is the most valuable prize of all.

(credit: CBS)

“As technology gets, you know, better these days, I think it’s important to know like some specific stuff in case it happens to you in the future and it makes things more productive in life,” Tan said.

Saturday it wasn’t about that though, it’s about the bond they are creating with each other while learning.

MORE NEWS: Thornton Neighbors Suspect Street Racing After Fiery Crash Kills 3 People

“I feel like our bond is closer now,” said Tan. “You just learn stuff, and it’s pretty fun.”

Michael Abeyta