Teenagers learn programming, operating systems at summer camp

Jun 23 – Austin sophomore Sydney Brown says computer science never interested her until this month, when CyberPatriot Camp taught her to delve into the anatomy of computer systems. computer operations, correcting security vulnerabilities and protecting Wi-Fi systems.

“Learning what’s deep inside a computer, not just what works inside a computer, but being able to decode what’s inside that computer, that was my biggest lesson. camp,” Brown said. “(Decoding) was something I didn’t know I could do.”

Brown, who said she plans to use her newfound computer skills on her own computer, said it only took her an hour to learn to code proficiently.

CyberPatriot Camp for Regional High School Students began June 13 at Calhoun Community College’s Decatur campus and meets 10 weekdays through Friday. Shandie Laseter, a computer science teacher at Calhoun and director of this year’s CyberPatriot camp, said the main goal of the camp was to familiarize students with the Linux and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

“Throughout camp, they learn to identify vulnerabilities in both operating systems and then mitigate them,” Laseter said. “As a group team, they have to go in and follow their guidelines and count the number of vulnerabilities.”

The operating system of a computer is the program initially downloaded to the computer and manages all other application programs added.

This is the first year that Calhoun has partnered with the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce to host the camp, and Amber Fortenberry, director of talent development and recruitment at the chamber, said students can benefit learning computers at a young age.

“This is an ever-evolving field and career path,” Fortenberry said. “There is a real need for this, regionally and in our cyber and (information technology) community.”

Brown was the only student from Morgan County while the rest of the students were from Madison County.

Two of those students, Eugene Park and James Norris, are sophomores at the Alabama School of Cyber ​​Technology & Engineering in Huntsville. Although they are computer savvy, they said the camp was a great opportunity to learn specific details about how each operating system works.

“They’re talking about starting a CyberPatriot club next year, so I wanted to get a head start on doing that,” Park said.

Both students said they would like to enter the cyber workforce after graduating from high school.

“I always wanted to be a game developer, but also cybersecurity because I would like something more stable,” Norris said.

“I want to get into cyber, but I don’t know exactly what I want to do yet,” Park said.

The CyberPatriot program is a national youth cybereducation effort run by the Air Force.

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