School of Engineering and Computer Science

GenCyber camps complete successful summer

A GenCyber teachers camp, along with three groups of student GenCyber campers visited OU this summer.

Grades 4-6 GenCyber campers

Grades 7-9 GenCyber campers

Grades 10-12 GenCyber campers

Teachers GenCyber campers

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GenCyber camps complete successful summer

The GenCyber camp is a comprehensive and activity-based program that delivers substantive cybersecurity training to upper elementary (4th, 5th and 6th grades), middle school, and high school students. This year also featured the first year that the camp was offered to area K-12 teachers.

The program, run through Oakland University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, does not require any prior cybersecurity or experience to participate. Since cybersecurity is playing a more important role in the economy and our society, it is crucial for the students and teachers to learn about it and how they can best use the technology.

During the camps, which were separated by age groups, 100 students and 24 teachers heard lectures, participated in hands-on labs and case studies, engaged in outdoor activities as well as computer-based learning and participated in group presentations.

For the youngest students, the camp taught participants to understand the risk of online behavior, understand safe web surfing, where potential cyber threats exist, an understanding of security issues, the ethics of cybersecurity and to develop new teamwork and presentation skills.

For the middle school students, there was a deeper dive into cyberethics, cybersafety and cybersecurity. They learned about more system vulnerabilities, firewalls, intrusion detection systems and other technologies critical to information technology operations. They also discussed information hiding (steganography) and cryptography.

At the high school level, students built upon what is taught to the younger students and how to integrate the concepts taught into the digital communications they use on a daily basis. They learned more about system administration and networking capabilities and more about the relationship between hardware, software and networking. They also learned about computer viruses, Trojans, works and memory exploits.

The objectives for the first teacher’s camp held this year included: an improved cybersecurity awareness among area teachers, ideas for how participants can design, develop, construct and implement cybersecurity lesson plans at their schools and how to promote cybersecurity best practices for use this fall at their own schools.

The program is a collaboration between the National Security Agency, GenCyber, the National Science Foundation and Oakland University.


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