Tech entrepreneurship, coding, space, synbio edu-facilitator. CoderDojo and BioCoderDojo Timisoara founder and champion, co-founder of Growceanu Angel Investment, Seedcamp mentor, #andacyclist.
Bringing Kids to CyberSec in a CoderDojo Setting
As a non-formal education context where kids 7-18 years old learn at no cost from volunteer mentors the most diverse technologies, programming languages, CoderDojo is also addressing the field of CyberSec.
Since the opening of its first CoderDojo implementation, Timisoara was a national leader both in the size of its local network of dojos (with a maximum of 19 simultaneously functioning clubs, ca. 500 kids and ca. 80 mentors participating) and in innovating new formats of activities (MegaDojo events bringing under the same roof for a full day of coding learning 400 ninjas, 100 volunteers, Coolest Projects Romania with 70+ projects being displayed and competing, summer camps, etc.).
After the COVID pandemic, in Timisoara CoderDojo developed a new approach in starting new dojos, as we expanded the initial model of bioinformatics focused BioCoderDojo, into a series of three new specialized dojos: CoderDojo Timisoara GameDev, CoderDojo Timisoara Robotics and CoderDojo Timisoara CyberSec.
The new CoderDojo Timisoara CyberSec is now almost one year old. Hosted by Politehnica University of Timisoara its activities are coordinated by two co-champions, both freshman students in this 2023-24 academic year. Alex Szabo and Răzvan Horja work with 4-5 mentors (CyberSec master students and/or employees in Timisoara companies) in order to guide the learning journey of about 24 ninjas, students in the 6th-12th grade in various Timișoara schools.
CoderDojo Timișoara CyberSec continues a tradition of organizing cybersec related events here in Timisoara, started in 2018 with a Timisoara CTF attended by ca. 450 high-school teams in the qualification stage and 20 in the finals, including some from abroad, by young cybersec interested kids to HackTM, the biggest hackathon in South Eastern Europe, by inclusion of a CyberSec track and workshop in the MegaDojo events.
CoderDojo Timisoara CyberSec is building close relations with the local industry (OPSWAT, Atos, Nokia, Bitdefender) and academia (both Politehnica and Western Universities of TImișoara), jointly organizing multiple CTF events during the year, open to dojo’s ninjas and newcomers from local and regional educational organizations.
The presentation will review the technologies explored at the dojo, the educational approach, the future plans. Also, an actionable set of tools and instructions on how an interested group of professionals, current or future, could start building and operating a CoderDojo type of CyberSec educational setting will be presented.
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Orange Romania is the leader of the local telecom market and part of the Orange Group, one of the largest global telecommunications operators, connecting hundreds of millions of customers worldwide. With over 11 million customers and an annual turnover exceeding 1.5 billion euros, Orange Romania connects 1 in 2 Romanians and offers an extensive range of communication solutions to its customers, both individual users and companies, from basic services up to complete voice services, fixed and mobile data, TV services or smart home services, but also mobile financial services. Orange is also a leader in innovation investing yearly over 200 million euros in network infrastructure and R&D initiatives in Romania. In the past 3 years Orange has launched two 5G Labs in Bucharest and Iasi, that aim to support researchers, startups and companies to test their 5G solutions in advance. In addition, Orange is a long-term supporter of the startup ecosystem through the Orange Fab accelerator program designed to support entrepreneurs in the development of innovative products and their distribution locally and internationally.
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