COLLEGE STATION – Nearly a dozen local high school students from across the Brazos Valley attended the inaugural Cyber Centurion Summer Camp offered by TEEX on June 23-27.
The camp was designed to introduce them to the computing and cybersecurity industry and expose them to the research, career and education opportunities in the field through guest speakers, demonstrations, training, field trips and tours, and gaming and simulation.
The camp was at no cost to students thanks to a $48,000 grant to TEEX from the Texas Workforce Commission’s “Governor’s Summer Merit Program” to encourage students to consider careers in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).
Topics included: developing secure software code, network information security, cyber law enforcement, emergency response and data center operations. Students learned about jobs in network security and cyber infrastructure and careers involved in creating it, monitoring it and keeping it safe, said Catherine Gibson, TEEX Training Coordinator and Camp Director.
Participants toured Fibertown, the Brazos EOC, Brayton Fire Training Field, Disaster City, the TEEX Helpdesk, and Rack Space in San Antonio. Guest speakers included Samuel Sutton from the Houston Field Office of the FBI, as well as Daeond Palmer, Tyler Burwitz, Cameron Engel and Jarred Younce of TEEX. The students also played a cybersecurity simulation video game called “CyberCIEGE” where they assumed the role of a company CIO, to help them understand the costs and benefits of real-world network security and how to achieve it without breaking the bank. All students also completed the TEEX online class “Digital Forensics.”
“We are hoping to make this an annual event,” Gibson said. “We received a lot of positive feedback, and we would like to see it continue and grow.”
Other TEEXans assisting with the camp were Carla Collins, Brenda Grays and Lisa Mutchler. Trae Lara and Jason Moats also assisted with setting up the EOTC for the CyberCIEGE event.
The 2014 Cyber Centurion Camp will be offered again on July 28-Aug. 1, and applications are still being accepted for students at least 14 years old to include those in grades 9-11.