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Computer Security Summer Camp For High School Students

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.345.1 - 11.345.14



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Paper Authors


Douglas Jacobson Iowa State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Doug Jacobson
Associate Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Computer Security Summer Camp for High School Students Abstract

Iowa State University’s Information Assurance Center and the Iowa Chapter of InfraGard are collaborating to give juniors and seniors in High School an opportunity to visit ISU for a three day summer camp to gain knowledge in computer security. The camp has been offered twice and is conducted by Iowa State University professors in the security field, community experts, and graduate students that are in the security program at ISU. The camp provides an overview of computer security, educates students on computer networking security concepts, uses of different types of cryptography, and general understanding of how information warfare is conducted. This is a “hands on” lab-oriented camp that provides students an opportunity to work with state of the art equipment and to learn from industrial and academic leaders. Students will work with current technology like firewalls, Virtual Private Networks, and intrusion detection systems. Students setup security systems, analyze attacks, and see equipment in use. The last day of camp the students defend their networks against a red team “hackers” consisting of security professionals. One afternoon the students travel to Des Moines to tour different companies that are related to computer security.

We expect students to gain interest in the area, broaden their knowledge on computer security, have fun, and meet faculty and experts that are able to answer questions about their occupations, and give them insight as to what the future could hold for them in computer security field. The camp will also perk their interest in coming to ISU or other universities after high school.

This paper will outline the camp objectives, the planning process, and the recruitment process. The importance of a partnership between academia, government, and the private sector will be discussed. The changes from the first year to the second year based on feedback will also be presented in addition to plans for the third year.


The growing need for information security professionals is well documented. Several universities offer comprehensive programs in information assurance and security, primarily targeted at the graduate level. The number of schools offering undergraduate opportunities is even smaller. The end result is a severe shortage of graduates proficient in the technology and policy issues critical to the security of the information infrastructure. While several universities have started programs to address these needs, this only solves a small part of the problem. According to the National Strategy to Secure CyberSpace1 released by the President of United States in 2003, “Many cyber vulnerabilities exist because of a lack of cyber security awareness on the part of computer users, systems administrators, technology developers, procurement officials, auditors, chief information officers, chief executive officers, and corporate boards. Such awareness-based vulnerabilities present serious risks to critical infrastructure regardless of whether they exist within the infrastructure itself. A lack of trained personnel and the absence of widely accepted, multi-level certification programs for cyber security professionals complicate the task of addressing cyber vulnerabilities.”

Jacobson, D. (2006, June), Computer Security Summer Camp For High School Students Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1154

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