Robots, programming, and networking: Augusta University hosts its 5th GenCyber camp for high school students

By  | 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock

36 rising high school juniors and seniors were selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants to attend GenCyber, a week-long crash course in all things cybersecurity hosted by Augusta University.

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Augusta University's School of Computer and Cyber Sciences is hosting its 5th GenCyber camp at the Georgia Cyber Center this week.

The camp is a week-long crash course in all things cybersecurity. More than 100 rising high school juniors and seniors applied, and 36 were chosen for this year's program. The goal of the program is to educate students who are interested in cybersecurity get introduced to the industry.

"Any job in today's world has to have some knowledge of cybersecurity," said Dr. John Krautheim, director of the camp. "Everything is technology related and everything needs to have some sort of cybersecurity knowledge in order to protect your information."

Dr. Krautheim is an assistant professor at Augusta University. He has been a part of the camp all five years, and has been director for the past two years.

One of the campers this year is Luke Blevins. Blevins is a rising junior at Lakeside High School, and he said he found out about the program from a teacher at his school.

"She said if anything it was a good networking event to meet new people," said Blevins.

Networking is a part of what the campers can expect this week. They'll have the opportunity to meet cybersecurity workers in the area to learn more about career opportunities. Blevins knows that now is a great time to get into the industry.

"Right now there's a huge tremendous defecit in cybersecurity personnel in the U.S.," he said.

He's right.  According to cyberseek.org, there are more than 300,000 cybersecurity jobs available in the U.S. Georgia currently has more than 11,000 jobs available, 9th in the country. South Carolina has nearly 3,400 jobs available, in the top half of the country.

With so many jobs available, and with technology becoming more a part of our daily lives, Dr. Krautheim says it's important to educate and encourage young people to join the industry.

"Any job in today's world has to have some knowledge of cybersecurity because everything is technology related," he said. "Everything needs to have some sort of cybersecurity knowledge in order to protect your information."

But what does "cybersecurity jobs" mean? According to Dr. Krautheim, that name covers a wide range of opportunities.

"Cybersecurity isn't about one particular type of job," said Krautheim. "You can be a programmer. You can be a system adminstrator or a network administrator."

With so many jobs available, this camp is a great starting point for students to get their start in the industry. The camp started as a 5-day camp its first year, but has grown since then.

"We found out that just wasn't enough time to do the camp...so now we're running Saturday to Saturday," Krautheim said. "It gives us more time for activities and to incorporate more into the camp."

Blevins pointed out the camp also provides students with a way to talk to kids with similar interests.

"It's really refreshing to be a part of a group where I can talk to other kids and collaborate on things and have them actually understand what I'm trying to say."

The camp will conclude this weekend. On Friday, the campers will get to race piborg robots. These robots are actually tiny cars. Inside each car is a computer programmed by one of the campers. Dr. Krautheim and the rest of the team hopes this camp can continue at Augusta University in future years.

Copyright 2019 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved