Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic

SPAWAR’s Cybersecurity Summer Camp Expands Student Enthusiasm in STEM Careers

By SSC Atlantic Public Affairs

Campers remotely control a drone at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic-hosted -fifth annual Cyber Security Summer Camp at Burke High School June 19-23. More than 30 SSC Atlantic employees volunteered along with others from Trident Technical College, instructing more than 135 students from Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester county school districts. (U.S. Navy photo by Joe Bullinger/Released)

6/28/2017

For the fifth 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 Summer Camp hosted by Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic, June 19-23.

This year the camp was held at Burke High School of Charleston County and consisted of more than 30 SSC Atlantic employee volunteers, along with others from Trident Technical College. All volunteers instructed courses and facilitated exercises in today’s information technology (IT) environment related to cybersecurity and national defense.

In an effort to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, and to enable the 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.

SPAWAR Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic Commanding Officer Captain Scott Heller speaks to more than 120 high school and middle school students attending the SSC Atlantic-sponsored cybersecurity summer camp. During the week-long camp more than 30 volunteers from SSC Atlantic trained and challenged the students in cyber espionage, computer deconstruction, command and control systems, internet security, snap circuits and scratch programming, among other activities. (U.S. Navy photo by Joe Bullinger/Released)

“You are the future of science and technology and your country is looking to hire you for the future,” said Dale Ormond, principle director, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research and Engineering), and the event’s keynote speaker.

More than 135 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 Bill Littleton, camp director, developed six 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 a 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.

SPAWAR Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic employees James Bouie and Mo Dauod teach students about the parts that make up a computer during the SSC Atlantic-sponsored cybersecurity summer camp. More than 30 volunteers from SSC Atlantic trained and challenged more than 120 middle and high school students in cyber espionage, computer deconstruction, command and control systems, internet security, snap circuits and scratch programming, among other activities held during the week-long camp. (U.S. Navy photo by Joe Bullinger/Released)

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.

“It all starts with watching something and then asking, ‘How does that work or how did that happen?’” said SSC Atlantic Commanding Officer Capt. Scott Heller. “Then you find the answer, but to get to it more questions pop up and you have to find the answers to them, and suddenly you are on the road to becoming a scientist and engineer.”

This fifth annual Cybersecurity Summer Camp was supported with funding provided by the National Defense Education Program (NDEP), SSC Atlantic and Navy Innovative Science and Engineering (NISE) funds.​

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