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INL hosting state-wide cyber summer camps to inspire students

Science & Technology

IDAHO FALLS – Idaho National Laboratory’s Cyber Integration Center will be holding summer cyber camps across Idaho to engage the next generation in world-class technology and cybersecurity.

Thanks to a collaboration between INL’s Cybercore Integration Center, STEM K-12 program and area universities, students in grades 7 through 12 across the state will discover and expand their knowledge in the world of cybersecurity, coding, programming, high-performance computing and much more.

“We want to inspire these students. We want to ignite their curiosity and get them excited about all of the different facets of cybersecurity,” says Eleanor Taylor, the program manager for Cybercore University Programs. “And we want to provide them with the foundation to continue building those skills in those areas of interest to help them support their community.”

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Students get to learn from industry professionals in the computer programming and cybersecurity fields. | Courtesy Idaho National Laboratory

The camps, which will be held at Boise State University, College of Southern Idaho, College of Eastern Idaho, and Lewis and Clark State College, will help students learn about new technology through demonstrations and lectures and give them the opportunity to experience real-world exposure through facility tours coordinated by local industry partners.

Organizers hope that these camps will be able to help more young minds become interested in the fast-growing and ever-changing world of computer technology.

“We’re super excited with where we’re at today,” says Taylor, a program manager at Idaho National Laboratory. “We’re doing this in a way that allows (students) to explore their interests and build their confidence and learn about different things to pursue their interests.”

This is the sixth year that INL has hosted these cyber camps, but it is the first year that they have been state-wide.

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A student works on a computer project during a previous year’s INL cyber camp. | Courtesy Idaho National Laboratory.

This is also the first full summer since the coronavirus pandemic that INL interns have been able to be back on site, which allows them to participate in the camps and give students another perspective of possible career avenues.

According to INL, more than 100 National Homeland Security interns are at the lab every year. Over half of them end up in the industrial cybersecurity career field, and many of them participated in the cyber camps as middle and high school students.

“Our interns are back on-site, so it’s really exiting to have the cohort working together. We have high school interns working with us working on the cyber camp for the first time in a long time,” says Taylor. “Their role is to help the students see themselves becoming students just like they are, to help them work through the different challenges.”

There are two options for the camps, an introductory camp for beginners to the world of cybersecurity and an advanced camp for those who are more familiar.

The introductory camps run from July 18 to 22. Advanced summer camps run from Aug. 1 to 5.

Space is limited at all locations, so INL recommends that you register as early as possible.

For more information about the camps and registration, visit the cyber camp website here.

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