CyberPatriot Camp gives students chance to learn more about digital protection
(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT -- July 28, 2020) — Today’s virtual world was the perfect backdrop for EPISD’s annual CyberPatriot Camp, giving students a chance to explore computer virus protections and other critical safety measures in this digital era.
The weeklong virtual CyberCamp drew 25 participates from District middle and high schools last week to develop solid cyber safety skills, and learn about potential careers in the field. The camp was the most successful to date.
“I think the kids were generally interested in learning about something so integral to their lives,” said Todd Parsont, CyberCamp coordinator and Franklin Air Force JROTC instructor.
“First, we were the only game in the town. But boy we had game – cyber game.”
Franklin junior Charles Spencer, a member of the CyberPatriot team, joined the camp to learn the software operating system Ubuntu. He’s been doing CyberPatriot for two years.
“This program is extremely useful,” Spencer said. “It teaches you how to not only protect yourself from potential attacks but you can also take this information and start a career with it.”
This year, the camp offered both an advanced and beginner course. Parsont hopes interest among the middle and high school continues by enrolling in AP Computer Science or JROTC. He credits instructor Joshua Serna, EPISD information security systems administrator, for the success of the program.
“Josh graciously give of his time and I mean a great deal of time and effort to teach the camp,” Parsont said. “He is a prime example of the type of dedicated professionals that make EPISD so successful.”
Serna taught students fundamentals of defensive cyber security, ethics and online safety.
“Students were allowed to implement security controls on windows systems and Linux systems,” Serna said. “We had 18 of the 25 students participate in a competition and many of them scored well for their first time competing.”