SPAWAR’s Cybersecurity Summer Camp Boosts
Student Interest in STEM Careers
For the fourth year in a row, students from Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester county school districts in South Carolina beat the summer heat by participating in a cybersecurity camp held at the Lowcountry Tech Academy of Charleston County sponsored by Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic.
More than 30 SSC Atlantic employees volunteered along with from Trident Technical College for the camp June 13-17, instructing courses and facilitating exercises in today’s IT environment related to cybersecurity and national defense.
In an effort to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers and to enable our nation to meet its cyber defense needs, this year’s camp continued the tradition of giving high school students hands-on skills and experience geared toward encouraging interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.
To that end the campers -- who numbered more than 80 students -- were able to choose from tracks such as cybersecurity, programming, robotics and computer network defense. Classes in these tracks had campers deconstructing computers, writing HTML, building robots and a variety of other fun and educational activities.
The SSC Atlantic Cybersecurity Outreach Team, led by “camp director” Bill Littleton, developed two tracks that brought middle school campers along for the educational ride. SSC Atlantic professionals led “Junior Cyber Warrior” classes for 5th through 8th graders in areas such as computer deconstruction, command and control systems, building PowerPoint slides, internet security, LEGO® robotics, cyber espionage, snap circuits, scratch programming, trebuchet building and cybersecurity.
In a Cyber Espionage challenge students had to recover key intelligence from a USB drive containing stolen information after searching mannequin which represented a potential spy. Once they found the suspicious item on the spy, they examined the data for valuable secrets using popular cryptography and forensics tools.
Other campers enjoyed sessions like Installing and Securing Linux, Networking, Installing and Securing Windows, Vulnerabilities and Threats, Java Script Design and Raspberry Pi. Students interested in engineering and robotics were treated to a VEX robotics program packed with hands-on project-based learning activities. Students also got to experiment with a small drone as they tried to navigate through various obstacles.
This fourth annual Palmetto Cybersecurity Summer Camp is supported with funding provided by the National Defense Education Program (NDEP).