INL Collaborative Computing Center

The entrance to Idaho National Laboratory's Cybercore Integration Center is seen on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019.

A summer camp designed as a crash course for high school students interested in cybersecurity is moving to a fully digital classroom this year.

The fourth annual Cybercore summer camp, sponsored by Idaho National Laboratory and the College of Eastern Idaho, will start July 20 and run each weekday through July 31. Classes will be taught by two returning instructors, Michael Haney from the University of Idaho and Cathy Owen from Compass Academy, along with a team of interns from INL.

Classes will be held through Zoom in the mornings and recorded for students who are not able to make those times work. In addition to the online discussions and lessons, students also will do some practical computer work with Raspberry Pi computers and circuit boards that will be mailed to them.

"We need to get them excited and engaged now because we need them for the workforce of the future. We need their diversity of thought when it comes to addressing these cyber problems," INL's Cybercore Program Manager Eleanor Taylor said.

The camp also is expanding beyond high school students to include college students and some teachers who are looking to start teaching cybersecurity lessons into their own classes. Last year's entry-level version of the Cybercore camp had 19 students take part during the first week. As of Friday morning, 36 people had enrolled in this year's version of the class from across Idaho.

Jennifer Lopez, the cyber, technology and STEM program manager for College of Eastern Idaho, said the shift to a digital classroom also will allow for the courses to cover a wider array of topics than in previous years.

"In previous years we had been able to touch on things and then tell the kids who were interested to learn about it on their own. This year, especially with the help of our interns, some of those ideas are going to become full lessons," Lopez said.

Enrollment in the Cybercore summer camp costs $95 and is open through July 8 on CEI's Workforce Training and Continuing Education website. Some scholarships are available to local students interested in attending the camp.

Brennen is the main education reporter for the Post Register. Contact him with news tips at 208-542-6711.