June 22, 2020
By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer
The first-ever Cybersecurity Summer Camp was an unqualified success, said Dr. George Meghabghab, director of the Roane State Computer Information Technology program. The event had been planned for the community college’s Oak Ridge Branch Campus, but officials converted it to a virtual camp because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first four-day camp for high school students, held in partnership with the Y-12 National Security Complex, was conducted in early June. Students from the Webb School in Knoxville, along with those in Oak Ridge and Harriman high schools and students who are home-schooled participated.
The second camp, also an all-day event, will be July 6-9. Most of the slots have been reserved, but limited space is still available. A maximum of 15 students can sign up. The registration fee of $25 per camper covers the cost of a camp T-shirt. To sign up, visit the camp info page at roanestate.edu/cybercamp. The registration deadline is July 1, but please note that the remaining spots are likely to be reserved prior to that date.
“Participation was great,” Meghabghab said of the first event. “Everybody was attentive, and it was fun and engaging.” He said the mother of two girls who attended the camp wrote him to express her appreciation for the activity.
Topics that helped students develop their cyber skills and talents included digital forensics, scanning and data reconnaissance. Students also used their new skills to unravel clues at fictional crime scenes, Meghabghab said.
Much the same format will be used for the second camp, the professor said. He said Roane State partnered with Y-12 because the national security facility is developing a “best-in-class” cybersecurity program “to protect our nation’s most valuable information.”
Students will be members of the next-generation workforce, and it’s in the nation’s best interest for them to become skilled in cybersecurity, Meghabghab said.
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