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Largest residential camp in the nation returns to DSU

June 24, 2016

For the third summer in a row, Dakota State University will host the largest residential co-ed cyber camp in the nation. The only difference this year is there will be two of them. More than 400 high school students from 36 states will attend DSU’s GenCyber camp with another 1,200 students on a waitlist. The camp will be divided into two separate cohorts, with the first session starting June 26, and the second starting on July 10. Each group will spend Sunday afternoon through Friday on DSU’s campus learning various topics related to cybersecurity. 

Every morning, the campers will divide into groups and complete hands-on labs focused on programming, networking and cybersecurity. The students will gain knowledge of how computers interact internally and with other computers along with the risks of being connected to the outside world.

The afternoons are broken up in three sessions, so the campers are able to self-select or build their own adventure. The hands-on elective sessions are for campers at all skill levels and led by DSU faculty, alumni and volunteers in different areas of cybersecurity. The students who are beginning their experience with computers can learn about the college experience and how to program in simple HTML projects, while advanced students can analyze malware and discover how to find flaws inside of commonly used software. 

In the evenings, students will participate in Cyberlympics. Stations will be set up around campus for campers to challenge their skillsets by solving various technology-related puzzles ranging from finding hidden wireless signals and solving hardware and software problems, to laser tag and keyboard reconstruction. 

The main goal for the free camps is to make sure students at all skill levels are given opportunities to explore and continue their cyber learning. Each attendee is provided a Raspberry Pi, which is a small inexpensive computer, to take home and connect to their monitors or televisions, allowing them the opportunity to continue their learning experience and to keep them working on projects.

Last year, CNN visited DSU to film the co-ed GenCyber camp. View the segment at: http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/21/politics/honing-hacking-skills-at-nsa-summer-camp/