St. Joseph’s Academy finished third in this summer’s Cyber Discovery Camp, a weeklong experience for high school students. A team of six SJA students spent the last week of May at Louisiana Tech University, learning applicable life skills through instruction, self-creativity and teamwork.
During the week, participating students earned points through various activities, including writing assignments, puzzles, mini games and more. Points were used to buy robot enhancements for the various robotics challenges, including golf, soccer and a free-for-all marble collection game in which students piloted their robots with a collection device to move marbles into forts. The forts were designed using Sketchup, then laser cut and assembled.
SJA finished first in the cryptology treasure hunt competition, solving a variety of code challenges and uncovering clues. Participants also wrote critical essays and papers analyzing readings and lectures on artificial intelligence, acting as a spam email scammer, how to be a strong cyber citizen, the appropriate use of technology and more.
Faculty members Claire Luikart and Aimee Cronan served as chaperones. “The primary goal of the camp is to help students understand how technology and the world of cyberspace are present in their daily lives and how to best interact with them,” Luikart said. “It’s heavy on cross-curricular and interdisciplinary activities. It’s an awesome.”
Rising sophomore Sarah Weinstein said the camp was a formative experience. “It was a fun and fast-paced camp in which we not only learned about cyber security, robotics and cryptology, but were also allowed to step into more creative subjects such as architecture, drama and creative writing,” she said. “It was a blast, and I loved everything about it. I had so much fun and wish it could have lasted longer.”
Rising sophomore Emma Vu said the camp provided wonderful learning experiences. “I hadn’t even known about cryptography’s existence before I came to this camp, but I am so grateful for having been introduced to the topic,” she said. “I learned about the countless possible career options that involve both cryptography and cyber discovery. I loved this experience so much, and I will never forget that week.”
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos courtesy of Claire Luikart