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STEM/Cyber Camp a hit with Cherry Creek kids

August 11, 2013

CSU co-sponsored the camp July 29-Aug. 2 at Grandview High School that offered students an opportunity to learn about and apply the technologies that are fueling tomorrow's workforce.

Students show off their fuel-cell cars at STEM/Cyber Summer Camp.CSU College of Engineering, Northrop Grumman Corp., and Cherry Creek School District teamed up this summer to get kids excited about careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and cybersecurity during the first-annual STEM/Cyber Summer Camp.  The camp was held July 29 – Aug. 2 at Grandview High School.

A total of 45 students from the Denver metro area in grades 9–12 participated in this two-track camp where students learned from experts about clean energy technologies and cybersecurity.  The camp was offered at no charge to students thus expanding its potential to reach students and position them for success.

The cybersecurity track was based on the highly successful CyberPatriot program, for which the Northrop Grumman Foundation is the presenting sponsor, as well as demonstrations and lab exercises from Northrop Grumman’s Cyber Academy.  Northrop Grumman instructors taught students about computer forensics, cybersecurity fundamentals such as operating system hardening and computer ethics, and how to prepare for a career in the field. 

The week culminated with a Cybersecurity Grand Challenge, where student teams used tools and techniques learned throughout the week to identify vulnerabilities and protect their network systems from computer attack.

CSU's Clean Energy track

Graduate students from the College of Engineering taught the Clean Energy track covering clean energy systems, the causes and effects of climate change, relationships between electricity and magnetic fields, wind power, solar power, hydrogen fuel cells, and energy conservation.  Campers built a wind power generator and solar-powered charging station. The clean energy derived from these two hybrid systems energized a hydrogen fuel cell, which, in turn, powered a DC motor in a minature fuel cell-powered car. 

The week culminated with fuel-cell car races and energy conversion challenges associated with clean energy drive systems. 

“Today’s students must see the utility and value of learning STEM subjects,” explained Michael de Miranda, professor of engineering education. “Solving real engineering design problems like the hybrid power generation systems integrated into a hydrogen fuel cell charging station gives them a first-hand opportunity to ‘connect the STEM dots’ and experience the excitement and challenge of doing engineering.”

Several CSU undergraduate students also made a presentation with a question-and-answer session about their experiences studying engineering and shared why they made the choice to pursue an engineering career.