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SJA Finishes First in Cyber Discovery Camp

St. Joseph’s Academy finished first in this summer’s Cyber Discovery Camp, a weeklong experience for high school sophomores. A team of five SJA students spent the last week of May at Louisiana Tech University, exploring issues surrounding technologies that enable movement of information. 

SJA team members were Ryn LeBleu, Rosie Tate, Ellie Pryor, Leah Swanstrom and Anna Grace McLemore. They were accompanied by faculty members Aimee Cronan and Rhonda Baird.

Camp activities included programming, robotics, a cryptographic treasure hunt, cyber policy and ethics discussions, cyber storylines and computer-aided design of cyber-forts. The activities focused on building teamwork and critical-thinking skills while promoting an understanding of the complex, computer-based world in which we live.

The SJA team finished first in the crypto treasure hunt and tied for first in the 3D fort design competition to bring home the top prize. 

“Over the week, students collected points through various activities, including writing assignments, puzzles and small mini-games,” said Claire Luikart, director of SJA’s Andrea Clesi McMakin ’74 STEM Lab. “They used the points earned to buy robot enhancements. The camp featured small robotics challenges including golf, soccer and a free-for-all marble collection game in which students piloted their bots with some collection device to move marbles into forts to score. The forts were designed by the students using Sketchup, then laser cut and assembled. Students also had to write critical essays and papers. The crypto puzzles and scavenger hunt were crowd favorites. Students were given access to a website. The next stage of the website could only be opened by finding and cracking various cryptographically hidden passwords.” 

McLemore said she was proud of her team’s hard work throughout the competition. “Though I would’ve enjoyed the experience regardless, coming in first drove it home,” she said. “I felt extremely proud knowing that all of our hard work over the week had paid off in the long run.”

Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director