Staff Report

Approximately 40
students from across the state of Tennessee have gathered at Tennessee Tech this week to learn about cybersecurity at the 2019 GenCyber Residential Camp.
It is the fourth year that Tech’s Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC) has hosted the camp.
“The camp has made significant impact not just in our local community but also at the state and in the region,” said CEROC director Ambareen
Siraj. “We are turning more young minds to cyber safety and cybersecurity career as we progress over the years.”
The students, learned about cybersecurity using the Raspberry Pi single board computer, games illustrating cybersecurity concepts, competitions, and team projects.
Throughout all of the activities, campers had a
chance to learn key cybersecurity concepts,
online safety, and careers
in cybersecurity and meet cybersecurity experts in government and industry.
“It is amazing to watch these young people grow both in communication skills and knowledge throughout the week,” said Eric Brown, CEROC’s assistant director. “These individuals begin their week as a group of strangers and end the week as members of highly functional teams with strong bonds. We have begun to see some of our past GenCyber campers join us in the computer science program here at Tech. This is the real sign that something awesome happened here.”
“The camp was the deciding factor in choosing Tennessee Tech as my school. GenCyber solidified my decision to follow a cybersecurity path,” said Tate Seyler.
CEROC is no stranger to these types of outreach events. Throughout the year, in addition to its collegiate education
and research activities, the center engages over 1,000 K12 students during programs such as GenCyber on Wheels, on-site presentations, career fairs, and visiting groups.
“Our work in K12 is
crucial to addressing future cybersecurity issues,” said Brown.
Brown added that many of the students don’t fully understand what cybersecurity is but think of that strange person that never comes out of the basement.
“In reality, cybersecurity professionals work in areas ranging from academia, law enforcement, defensive and offensive operations, and forensics.
It is a joy to see young eyes light up and see the opportunities in this field.”