High School Cybersecurity Summer Camp Announced

Gencyber Hawaii

Registration opened yesterday for GenCyber Hawaii, a free week-long summer camp for high school students and teachers focused on cybersecurity.

Hardly a week goes by without news of a data breach, and there have been some very high-profile incidents in the past year, from Home Depot (which spent $43 million in just one quarter to clean up the mess) to Target (which recently reached a $10 million settlement with affected customers) to Sony (which saw its breach become an international incident).

Not only does hacking cost big money, but it is a major threat to national security, and Pres. Obama just yesterday implemented tougher sanctions on state-sponsored cyberattacks. Without a doubt, cybersecurity is a growth industry. An industry that needs lots of fresh talent.

GenCyber Hawaii is part of a program launched last summer by the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation. The technology-centric summer camp teaches cybersecurity fundamentals and ethnical online practices to high school students. It’s offered under the banner of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, and as part of expanding career pathways for young people.

High school students and teachers can enroll for free in the one-week camp, which will be held July 13-17, 2015 at Honolulu Community College. They will participate in hands-on cybersecurity sessions led by industry experts and college students, professors, and alumni.

The national GenCyber program is specifically designed to connect high schools with colleges, with the local program falling under NSA and NSF grants awarded to the University of Alaska. Local partners include HCC’s Pacific Center for Advanced Technology Training (PCATT) and the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Information Technology Services.

“There’s going to be a lot of operating system familiarization: Linux, UNIX, some Windows administration, some networking, maybe network forensics,” said Jake Ross, an IT specialist with the Navy, who helped put together the curriculum.

“it’s supposed to be challenge-based learning, so it’s not just death by PowerPoint,” added Mike Herr of Referentia. “We explain something to you, and you go do it.”

There is space for up to 60 students and up to 30 teachers, with registration open through May 8. Applicants will be notified about whether they were accepted by May 20. For more information, visit GenCyber-HI.org.

And you’re interested in hearing more about cybersecurity education, Jake and Mike were our guests last night on Bytemarks Cafe. In addition to GenCyber Hawaii, we talked about related programs like CyberPatriot and the local CyberHui group.

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1 Response

  1. June 3, 2015

    […] hot commodity. And I’ve written before about local programs like CyberHui, CyberPatriot, and GenCyber, all focused on inspiring the next generation of geeks to make security a priority, and putting […]

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