#STEMSpotlight: NW Cyber Camps

#STEMSpotlight: NW Cyber Camps

What’s the name of your organization? NW Cyber Camps

What is your name and title? Rakesh Bobba, Associate Professor at Oregon State University; NW Cyber Camp Management Team Co-lead.Twila Denham, Managing Director, Operations and Workforce, Energy Sec; NW Cyber Camp Management Team Co-lead.

In which city (or cities) is your organization located? NW Cyber Camps is managed jointly by EnergySec, Gresham, Oregon State University (OSU), Corvallis and Center for Advanced Learning (CAL), Gresham. We organize and host cyber camps in Gresham, Corvallis and Portland. In past we host as mans and 5 different locations including one in Bend.

What are the ages and demographics of youth you work with? Our camps are targeted at high-school students (Grades 9 – 12). The camps are open to all interested students. We strive to recruit groups underrepresented in Computer Science by organizing camp locations targeted towards girls, providing scholarships (reduced or waived camp fees) for students in need.

Describe your organization and its mission. NW Cyber Camps is a not-for-profit effort run and is currently managed mostly by passionate volunteers from EnergySec, Oregon State University and Center for Advanced Learning (CAL).Our mission is to inspire students towards careers in cybersecurity. Our goal is to provide motivated high school students with an introductory cybersecurity experience defending computer systems, including hands-on implementation of defensive cybersecurity practices.

What are the short and long-term goals for your organization? Short term goals for NW Cyber Camps is to successfully host cyber camps in 2022 summer in multiple locations (including online)Long term goal is to create a solid foundation for NW Cyber Camps to offer them sustainably into foreseeable future and scale them to multiple locations around Oregon (and SE Washington) to make them accessible to more students.

How can TAO and community members support your work? At NW Cyber Camps we keep our camp fees low to make it accessible to more students. The revenue generated from the fees is typically not sufficient to cover the costs of organizing the camps. Generous companies and organizations provide donations to fill the funding gap and to provide scholarships to students in need. We also recruit volunteers to give talks and teach at the camps. TAO members can support our effort through sponsorships for camps and by volunteering to give talks or teach at the camps.This blog post is part of an awareness campaign about organizations working to advance STEM education opportunities for Oregon youth. A big thank you to Oregon Community Foundation for supporting STEM education!

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