A new initiative at Western Colorado University will show young people how to stay safe online and teach others to do so as well.
This summer, Western will host the GenCyber Camp, focused on cybersecurity and sponsored by the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation. The four-day camp is free, including lunch, and will operate from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for 20 middle school students. The camp will be held in the Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering. The NSA will provide instructors through virtual instruction and instructional materials. Their goal is to reach rural and underserved communities.
The day won’t just be lecture—each camp comprises 30-hours of seminars, exercises and workshops. The camps are designed to motivate students toward preparing a future career in cybersecurity.
“We’re sending the message that STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is fun,” said Doug MacGregor, adjunct professor of Computer Science at Western. “There will be a basic introduction to cybersecurity and a discussion of careers. We’re getting them to think about options that are available.”
Western is a part of a regional group called the Mountain West Cybersecurity Consortium, that is hosting other similar events targeting all ages. The consortium consists of post-secondary and private educational institutions in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The group is hoping to expand these cybersecurity camps in the future and broaden the students who can participate.
“The first thing I’d like to do locally is expand it to high school students,” MacGregor said. “To register, go cvent.me/yR0DGm [that’s a zero not a capital “O.”] Again, the camp is limited to 20 students.
For more information, contact Grethen Bliss at firstname.lastname@example.org or (719) 351-4910.
Author Credit: Chris Rourke
Photo Credit: Emma Brophy