22 June 2018 | by Liam Gunton

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Guest Blog: The CyberSmart Youth Summit

A few weeks ago I took part in the CyberSmart Youth Summit in Fredericton. My day started off at 5:30 a.m. so I could catch the bus to Fredericton. At about 8:30 a.m.,  I arrived at the Summit. It was held in a large room with round tables, a few podiums, and some screens. We got there when hosts were saying their opening remarks, and NB Power announced their new Internship program.

After the opening remarks the room was split in half, one half was CyberTitan and the other half were students who wanted to attend the conference. I was one of the students who wanted to attend. Our half of the room started off with a big data workshop. I learned what big data is and its importance. The people presenting also gave a small demo on how you can collect data from Twitter to see what people are talking about.

Next up they gave us a small nutrition break where we could stretch out our legs, and talk to some companies/academia that had booths set up. The idea here was to learn about careers and what programs are available at the various colleges/universities. I started with NB Power, asked a few questions, spoke to a few universities and finished up to prepare for the next workshop.

The next workshop was a lot more hands on then the big data one was. We were programming LED’s with Arduinos, which was pretty easy, but still pretty fun. We had to place wires into the correct spots on the bread board and make two LED’s blink at different speeds. In the end, a student beside me actually had managed to program a RGB LED to flash in many different colours. The workshop ended pretty fast and it was lunch time. Our lunches were boxed lunches provided by CyberNB. Mine was a veggie wrap with some cheese and crackers.

After lunch there was a panel with five or six people in it. I can’t remember everyone but I know Jamie Rees from NB Power and Denis Ryan from Bulletproof were there. People asked questions and they answered.  Bulletproof also announced an internship program. This panel was quite informative and I feel it helped me strengthen my understanding of cybersecurity.

The last event of the day was pitching ideas for a book. The idea was a children’s novel for school students to teach them about cybersecurity at a young age. We could mull over ideas with a professional artist. Our group had to leave before we finished however and left the other groups to finish it up. Even though at first this activity didn’t entirely seem related to cybersecurity, in the run of things, it  was a good experience that opened my eyes to a new form of coding which I hadn’t previously explored.

Guest blogger, Liam Gunton is a grade 12 student at Caledonia Regional High School. He has worked with Bulletproof through a Virtual co-op program and spoke at BSides Fredericton in 2017. He has officially attempted CISSP certification once and is due to attempt again soon. (A previous version of this post appeared in the CyberGarden blog.)

CyberNB is a Special Operating Agency of Opportunities NB. For more information on CyberNB and CyberSmart initiatives:
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