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Two students working on coding assignment on a computer.
Students working on an assignment during one of the GenCyber cybersecurity camps held this summer. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering/Matthew Linguist

This summer, three GenCyber cybersecurity camps were held on the Texas A&M University campus. The camps were part of a Summer Computing Academy hosted by the Texas A&M High Performance Research Computing (HPRC) group, Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the College of Education and Human Development.

The GenCyber program provides summer cybersecurity camp experiences across the nation for K-12 teachers and students to increase awareness of the exciting career opportunities within the field. Overall, 75 high school students from across the United States, all sponsored by the program, attended the camps.

During the camp, students learned about the problem solving and teamwork aspects of careers in engineering and also participated in computing challenges through various hands-on activities such as enhancing their problem-solving and debugging skills in Python. The program also introduced the students to cybersecurity principles and addressed topics such as information privacy and ethics.

The students also had the opportunity to take a tour of the Texas A&M campus, SuSu and Mark A. Fischer '72 Engineering Innovation Center, the Teague Data Center to see two supercomputers, and interacted with current and former students from the Departments of Computer Science and Engineering, and Electrical Engineering.

“As our society increases its reliance on computer technology, the challenges and opportunities within cybersecurity continue to grow in complexity and importance,” said Dr. Dilma Da Silva, head of the computer science and engineering department and director of the GenCyber camps. “We need a lot of talent to address these tough problems, so by introducing them to the students now we hope it motivates more of them to pursue a career that will lead to a safer, more secure society.”