More than a dozen high school educators from across Kansas and as far away as Virginia took part in the inaugural cyber security camp Aug. 9-10 as part of a $4.7 million, five-year National Science Foundation CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Program grant awarded in January to EECS.
The two-day camp is designed to teach high school teachers effective methods for delivering cyber security content in K-12 curricula. The goal is to increase student awareness and interest in pursuing careers in cyber security, one of the fast growing industries in the world. The camp featured lectures, demonstrations, and a day-long cyber defense competition. As high school cyber security competitions become increasingly popular, this experience gave attendees tools and confidence to start cyber security clubs in their high schools.
“Coming to the KU GenCyber camp really sets the ground work for understanding cyber security and how to introduce it my students in a fun and interesting way,” said Anna Schoenberg, Advanced Academic Teacher & Instructional Coach for Fairfax County Schools in Fairfax, Virginia. “The team at KU really shined in making the participants feel welcome and comfortable, even though we were relatively new to the content.”
The camp was taught by CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program director Bo Luo, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, as well as several student assistants. “KU is the only GenCyber camp in Kansas, and the only camp that is close to Kansas City metro area, so we are proud to be part of it,” said Luo.
KU is one of approximately 100 schools that hosted a GenCyber camp this summer. The camps are sponsored by the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation.
The CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Program supports undergraduate, master's and doctoral students, who following graduation commit to work at government cybersecurity jobs safeguarding critical infrastructure. Along with the summer camp, the grant allows students and faculty in the program to build upon already active outreach and community service programs, such as participating in and hosting competitions and visiting local schools.