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To create the next generation of skilled university graduates that would help in filling the national need for cybersecurity, digital forensics, and mobile computing professionals, a team of minority/under-represented graduate students, the University Upward Bound Program (a federally funded program and part of the U.S. Department of Education; one of 967 programs nationwide) staff, and faculty from the Computer Science (CS) department got together and proposed a focused 10-week long funded summer camp for two local high schools with the following objectives:

1. Provide graduate students to instruct in the areas of` mobile application development, forensics and cyber Security 2. Provide CS one-on-one mentors for students while conducting their work-based learning experience in Computer Science 3. Assign hands-on interdisciplinary projects that emphasize the importance of STEM fields when using and developing software applications. 4. Promote and develop soft skills among participants including leadership, communications skills, and teamwork. 5. The proposal was funded, and the summer camps were conducted in the summer of 2019 with participation of more than 40 students from two local high schools. 6. The paper will present our efforts in each of the above areas: 7. The criteria/application/selection of high school student based on interest and needs. 8. The criteria/specification for purchased equipment 9. The selection and hiring of graduate students as instructors who can not only teach, but also serve as role models for the incoming students. 10. The development of course material into two parts: foundational material required by everyone, and specialized material where the student selects his/her area of interest. Presented results will show how the summer-camps benefited the students through the focused instruction given by graduate students, and how the students gained valuable knowledge and problem-solving skills in certain STEM fields. 11. The mentorship provided by the CS faculty to the instructors and the students through scheduled visits and agile approach for the software projects assigned. 12. The development of soft skills: how the planned social activities helped in honing the students software skills and allowed them to interact with people from all over the world (through faculty mentorship, conference attendance, project presentation), and prepared them academically and socially for their upcoming university experience.

By presenting our study, we hope that other institutions who are considering summer camps can benefit from our experience by adopting best practices while avoiding pitfall.


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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition