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MC2 Camps Inspire Students to Join Cybersecurity Fields

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“Our goal with these programs is to get students not only interested, but also involved in cybersecurity with the hope that they use the knowledge gained at camp to positively impact their future.”

Jessica Harrington



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MC2 Camps Inspire Students to Join Cybersecurity Fields

This summer, the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2) and the National CyberWatch Center K-12 Division hosted three summer camps for students interested in the field of cybersecurity.

In these camps, students learned useful cybersecurity skills and techniques through interactive learning and hands-on activities.

“The challenges facing the United States and the world are becoming so complex and interrelated, that effective solutions must be built on a solid understanding of both technological and cultural factors,” says Dan Veeneman, an instructor for the CyberSTEM and Intermediate CyberSTEM camps. “These one-week camps expose students to basic cyber security concepts and encourages these young women to pursue careers in a STEM field.”

The CyberSTEM Camp for middle school girls and the Intermediate CyberSTEM Camp for rising ninth and tenth grade girls allowed students to explore their interests and discover new talents through stimulating learning opportunities.

Both camps work to build a strong foundation in cybersecurity and other science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

During these camps, female students are introduced to new techniques in programming, cryptology and digital forensics. At the end of camp, students showcased what they learned by presenting their work to parents and their peers.

“We were impressed with the intelligence and attentiveness of the students who were eager to learn and participate,” says Zulma Whiteford, an instructor for CyberSTEM and Intermediate CyberSTEM camps. “Many students had diverse talents and interests that will serve them well in the future as they identify and pursue their intellectual passions.”

Rising juniors and seniors from all over the country had the opportunity to join the Cyber Defense Training Camp to learn more today’s cybersecurity challenges.

During this one-week residential camp, students came to UMD for in-depth training on password cracking, attacks, Linux commands, and data hiding. Along with their time in the computer lab, students went on field trips to the NSA – National Cryptologic Museum and Northrop Grumman for tours and career briefings.

Additionally, students learned about the Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES) program, a distinct cybersecurity honors program available at UMD. In all three camps, students were able to meet and interact with current ACES students, whom served as camp counselors and teaching assistants.

Each camp had a number of influential guest speakers that shared their stories and experiences with the group. This year’s guest speakers included Diane Miller, director of operations for Northrop Grumman and program director for CyberPatriot, and Amy Ginther, Project NEThics coordinator at UMD.

“Advances in technology happen every day, and because of this, the need for students to enter STEM and computing fields is constantly growing,” says Jessica Harrington, graduate assistant for educational outreach at MC2. “Our goal with these programs is to get students not only interested, but also involved in cybersecurity with the hope that they use the knowledge gained at camp to positively impact their future.”

For more information about our camps and workshops, please visit the MC2 education website.

For questions, please contact Jessica Harrington at jharring@umiacs.umd.edu.

 

August 27, 2015


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