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USM camp teaches cybersecurity to teens with impaired mobility

Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 7:45 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - High school students from across Mississippi were at the University of Southern Mississippi Saturday for a special one-day summer camp focusing on computer coding, 3-D printing and robotics.

It was called a Hackability Camp and it also featured discussions about cybersecurity.

It was held at the Eagle Maker Hub and it was designed for students who are mobility impaired.

“It’s to hack your wheelchair, potentially,” said Anna Wan, assistant professor of mathematics at USM and camp director. “It’s to learn about technology and its adaptive uses for kids who are in wheelchairs in high school. We talk about cyber-security, security breaches and that, so we focus on cyber safety, in addition to hacking your wheelchair.”

Nash Bennett, 17, of Fulton, Mississippi was among the students attending the camp.

“It’s really fun, it’s really interesting,” Bennett said. “I’ve never thought about getting into stuff like this, but it’s really fun.”

Also at the camp was 16-year-old Josiah O’Neal of Oak Grove. He’s been to two previous hackability camps at USM.

“It’s great,” O’Neal said. “I mean, obviously, with a disability, you can’t do a lot of physical things, so this is something else that can be interesting. Cybersecurity is everywhere and it’s super valuable.”

Instructors at the camp were brothers Matt and Blake Watson.

It was sponsored through the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency.

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