Stetson’s New Computer Science Camp = $10K Scholarships for Teens

High school juniors and seniors interested in computer programming and cybersecurity are invited to apply for the inaugural Computer Science Summer at Stetson, CS3, a five-day academic camp where teens will have an opportunity to earn $10,000 scholarships and a chance to skip the introductory computer science course at Stetson University.

Professor Joshua Eckroth
Joshua Eckroth is assistant professor of Computer Science at Stetson University.

The camp has two learning objectives: cybersecurity and programming, explained Joshua Eckroth, Ph.D., assistant professor of Computer Science at Stetson University.

“We aim for students to learn about cybersecurity, in both defensive ‘white hat’ and attacking ‘black hat’ roles to see both sides of the picture,” he said. “Also, we aim for students to learn computer programming in the Python language. The computer programming curriculum will be contextualized in terms of applications for cybersecurity.”

Professor Eckroth said the camp will be hands-on and interactive, and not a boring lecture series. There will be competitions, such as white hat versus black hat and then switching roles. The students at camp will participate in group work and games, tour the university’s server rooms and chat with its computer security team, and discuss the ethical dimensions of every activity. Camp attendees will also learn how to “crack” passwords and how to make strong passwords.

Each student who completes the camp will be offered a college scholarship totaling $10,000 over four years if the student chooses to attend Stetson University.

Stetson University Assistant Professor Joshua Eckroth

“My expectation is that high school juniors and seniors, and those starting their junior year in high school or freshman year of college in the Fall 2017, who have an interest or experience with programming will be excited about the camp. We will accept students who have prior programming experience but do not require that students have such prior experience,” he explained.

According to Professor Eckroth’s research, very few summer camps for high school students teach both cybersecurity and programming.

“Most cybersecurity camps focus on a variety of software tools and techniques but do not delve into programming. Our aim with the CS3 camp is to give participants enough programming background that they can skip the introductory CSCI 111 course that we offer in the department for students who wish to major in computer science or computer information systems,” he added.

As further incentive, students who pass an optional quiz at the end of the camp will receive instructor permission to enroll in Stetson University’s CSCI 141 course, a required course for computer science and computer information systems majors.

“The field of computer science is a fast-growing and competitive field,” he explained. “Any boost a young adult can get in terms of extra knowledge and experience can make a big difference in their future. We are designing the camp to give participants that boost.”

-Trish Wieland

Computer Science Camp logoComputer Science Summer at Stetson: CS³
About the instructor: Joshua Eckroth is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stetson University. He earned his Ph.D. at The Ohio State University in Computer Science with an emphasis in Artificial Intelligence. His research interests are machine learning, cybersecurity, and computer science pedagogy.
Camp Information: Academic camp for high school juniors and seniors, incoming high school juniors, recently-graduated high school seniors and incoming freshmen at Stetson University.
June 12 – 16, 2017
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Lunch is included.
Deadline to REGISTER is May 29.
Cost: $250 per person
Contact: Joshua Eckroth at [email protected] or 386-740-2519
Attendees will be accepted on a first-come basis with a limit of 20 participants.
No special materials are needed; students can bring their own machines (laptops) or use the campus machines. Each student who completes the camp will be offered a college scholarship totaling $10,000 over four years if the student chooses to attend Stetson University.