The sixth Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) high school computer science contest, Internet Privacy 2011, was held on October 8th at the H.R. Bright Building on the Texas A&M campus. Fifteen student teams from Texas high schools were presented with an Internet privacy challenge designed by CSE Professor Jyh-Charn (Steve) Liu. Competing teams were given the task of developing the most effective educational tools for primarily middle school and high school students on how to handle, respond, and protect their personal information on the Internet.
The teams spent the morning and early afternoon in individual labs designing and preparing slide presentations that focused on the protection and security of social networking using parents and teachers as moderators. During this planning stage, the teams were visited by the judges and were asked to explain their work. This helped the judges get a better grasp of the projects, learn about the design process, and observe the team dynamics. Excitement escalated as the day progressed to the oral presentations, which were held in Bright's Frank J. Malina '34 Auditorium. The final demonstrations were lively, informative, imaginative and fun. For example, Team Dulles Vikings from John Foster Dulles High School in Sugar Land included a dramatic physical demonstration of portions of their slide presentation and followed that with a song-and-dance routine, ending their energetic presentation mid-song at the seven minute mark.
The judges thought highly of the team presentations and, in addition to the three winners, added three honorable mentions: Bryan High School (Team Asgard Engineering), Travis High School (Team Travis Tigers), and Martin's Mill High School (Team Martin's Mill). Winning third place was Klein Collins High School (Team Anonymous). For their school they won a flip camera, and $25 Best Buy gift certificates were given to each member of the team. Second place went to North Crowley High School (Team Panther's Algorithm. Their school received both a digital and a flip camera along with a memory card and each team member received a $50 Best Buy gift certificate. The winning team, Engineering & Technologies Academy at Roosevelt High School in San Antonio (Team Indomitable 2 ETA), received a digital and a flip camera along with a memory card for their school, and each team member was awarded a $100 Best Buy gift certificate. Random drawings for i-Tune gift cards and laptop computer bags were held before the winning teams received their prizes
Graciously volunteering their time to judge the contest were Allen Hurst from Improving Enterprises in Addison, Texas; Angela Okonski, a teacher at St. Joseph's School in Bryan; Jordan Cazamias and Janice Rosado, undergraduate students in computer engineering at Texas A&M; and Mike and Cindy Mullen, parents from College Station.
Internet Privacy was generously sponsored by CSE Industrial Affiliates Program members Chevron and USAA. The contest was organized by CSE Program Coordinator Ms. Theresa Roberts. Other CSE staff, undergraduate students, and their families volunteered for the event.
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