STUDENTS PONDER a computing challenge during the ThunderBird Cup, a STEM outreach activity designed to interest students in the field of cybersecurity. Sandia student intern Andrew Chu (5620-1), second from left, co-led the new cybersecurity program along with colleagues Tyler Morris (5620-1) and Wellington Lee (9312). (Photo by Randy Montoya)
CECOR students launch ThunderBird Cup
Sandia researchers and interns kicked off the first annual ThunderBird Cup, introducing 17 students, grades 6-12, from diverse schools in the Albuquerque area to the field of cybersecurity. The three-day STEM outreach took place at the Research and Engineering Cyber Operations and Intelligence Lab (RECOIL) in the CERL building. The program was led by Tyler Morris (56201), Andrew Chu (56201), and Wellington Lee (9312) as part of Sandia CECOR (Consortium Enabling Cybersecurity Opportunities & Research). In addition, seven CECOR student interns acted as mentors during the event.
Sandia CECOR project manager Tommie Kuykendall (10597) says, “The goal is to get kids excited about pursuing cybersecurity careers. Many have the misconception that cybersecurity is just programming and working in a room by yourself. The ThunderBird Cup demonstrates that there is more to it; you get to work in teams, and it takes all kinds of people.”
CECOR is funded through a DOE Minority Serving Institution Pipeline Program. Its aim is to link national labs with Historically Black Colleges and Universities to increase the number of students engaged in cybersecurity and STEM careers.