Lion’s Code Cybercamp to be hosted online this summer


Courtesy of Dr. Bonnie Achee

The Lion’s Code CyberCamp is a three-day educational opportunity for young students to enhance their coding skills. This year, the camp will be completely virtual and take place on July 20-22.

The Department of Computer Science will host the second annual Lion’s Code CyberCamp, a coding event open to all students in grades 8-12.

Taking place on July 20-22 from 9 a.m. to noon, the cyber camp will be entirely online and free to all participants. Students must register by 4 p.m. on Monday, July 6 due to a limited class size of 80 students. No prior coding or extensive experience with computers is needed.

Last year, students were introduced to visual programming software and focused on their coding skills. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, the camp switched to an online format for the summer of 2020.

Dr. Bonnie Achee, instructor of computer science and camp coordinator, shared how the camp will function with these limitations.

This year, as an online camp, we’re going to step back, and because of the limitations of our online nature, and also the duration of the camp, we wanted to delve into and develop their critical thinking, team working and communication skills a bit more,” said Achee.

Matthew McNulty, instructor of computer science, explained why these changes were made.

“The camp this year will feature more heavily the parts of the camp that last year’s participants found the most enjoyable,” noted McNulty. “They will still be working toward the same goals that were presented in the camp last year, but with the pandemic we want to make sure everyone has an enjoyable experience while still saying safe and healthy.”

The camp will work closely with the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center and use their curriculum of games like virtual capture-the-flag and cyber-scenarios that have a focus on teamwork. Students will learn about encryption and logic puzzling but will also dive into cyber careers, what is available to them and what the university has to offer.

This year, the camp will also feature a cyber-scenario situation in which a bridge blows up in St. Louis. Students will be sworn in to the role of junior agents for “HomeLion” Security and, with the help of teaching assistants as the role of agents, will be on the quest to sort through a variety of documents to assimilate that information.

“Students will understand how to work together and come to a conclusion of what happened at that crime scene and what the motivation was and who did it and present their findings to not only their team, but to the director of “HomeLion” Security as well as other camp participants,” said Achee.

Achee shared what skills students will walk away with after completing the camp.

“The skills that they will be developing are their critical thinking skills and cognitive ability,” shared Achee. “We will look at teamwork as students will be put into teams and they’ll have to work on communication and team-building, and at the end of the camp they will be presenting their findings to each other, so that will work on their public speaking and presentation skills.” 

Once participants have registered, they will be sent their login credentials for Moodle, as the camp will be run through the university’s dual enrollment site. 

Any questions about Lion’s Code CyberCamp can be directed to their email at [email protected].