"My primary goal of hacking was the intellectual curiosity, the seduction of adventure.\u201d\u00a0 \u2013 Kevin Mitnick\u201cA white-hat hacker is someone who enjoys thinking of innovative new ways to make, break and use anything to create a better world.\u201d \u2013 Nico Sell, r00tz Asylum Honor CodeKids are naturally curious. They are born to hack their environment in order to learn how and why the world works as it does. See the story of the 9th-Grader after taking a homemade clock to school. They don\u2019t even realize they could be getting into trouble.\u00a0 This leads to potentially dangerous situations, especially with the distributed, online world of cyberspace. We need to direct kids to be white-hat hackers. Cyber competitions provide safe havens where kids have an outlet for their curiosity. (See the post Cybersecurity competitions \u2013 Make a difference.) Another way is kid-centered hacking conferences.We\u2019re turning kids into cons. This doesn\u2019t mean convicts, but conference attenders. A growing trend in cybersecurity conferences is to include kids with a separate track\/area just for them. Kids benefit from conference experiences like adults. It\u2019s their opportunity to learn something new, practice their skills, and network with others.rootz Asylum, Hak4Kidz, and HacKid conferences are kid-centered events to spark their curiosity as ethical hackers in a safe and rewarding environment. All of these were started by cybersecurity professionals and parents looking to create a fun and safe place for kids to learn and practice various hacking skills. \u00a0These conferences aren\u2019t solely about cybersecurity, but include many forms of general life hacking. They focus on areas kids care about at a level they understand. Topics include robotics, online gaming, martial arts, medieval weapons, soldering, 3D printing, lock picking, and drones. This is in addition to traditional cybersecurity topics of programming, online safety, cyberbullies, cryptography, computer hardware engineering, and hacking contests. They use non-traditional methods to engage kids with as much hands-on learning as possible.The intent is to allow the kids to \u201cget dirty\u201d playing with the technologies without a fear of breaking things or getting into trouble. They have \u201cjunkyards\u201d full of old PCs, cell phones, network routers, circuit boards, etc. that allow kids to understand bare-bones technology. Contests (with prizes!) challenge kids to Capture the Flag (CTF) in a virtual environment, solve crypto puzzles (using math), and develop games.\u00a0Each of these conferences maintains a strict code of ethics to help kids (and adults) know their boundaries when hacking. r00tz Asylum exemplifies this with their Honor Code.Originated by Nico Sell in 2010 as DefCon Kids, R00tz Asylum gets kids learning cybersecurity from the best in the industry. There\u2019s no better place than the Black Hat and DefCon conferences in Las Vegas every summer. In the 2014 opening address, Nico describes the origin. \u201c\u2019r00tz\u2019 came from the idea that getting \u2018root\u2019 of a computer means taking full control of it.\u201d At cons like r00tz Asylum, kids take control of their learning through multiple hands-on hacking sessions delivered by cybersecurity luminaries. The summary says it all, \u201cr00tz is about creating a better world. You have the power and responsibility to do so. Now go do it! We are here to help you.\u201dStarted by David \u201cHeal\u201d Schwartzberg, Hak4Kidz\u00a0is a series of kid conferences with the goal of developing a community of cyber kids with common interests, objectives, and a sense of belonging. Many kids who are into computers are still seen as socially-awkward introverts. Hak4Kidz gives those kids their own space where they can learn together. \u201cHak4Kidz is a conference for youth focused on internet safety and best practices with an opportunity to safely explore computer science and cybersecurity.\u201d\u00a0HacKid was started by Christopher Hoff with similar goals as r00tz and Hak4Kidz.\u00a0 \u201cKids are our future, why not give them that spark that will set them on a journey that only \u2018hacking\u2019 can inspire?\u201d\u00a0 HacKid took a break in 2015, but check the website for future events. \u00a0These Kids Cons have reached thousands of kids (and equal number of parents) over the past five years. They are having a positive impact by engaging kids in the world of white-hat hacking.Call to Action \u2013 Part 3: Volunteer at a kid\u2019s security conference or camp. If one doesn\u2019t exist in your area, consider starting one. Let\u2019s work on replicating these events to cover as much territory as possible. Helping one kid makes it all worthwhile.