UMD Hosts 4th Cybersecurity and Cybersafety Workshop for Girls

Published November 5, 2014

Cybersecurity wkshpLocal middle school girls gathered at The University of Maryland (UMD) on Saturday, October 25, 2014, to participate in a workshop on cybersecurity and cybersafety organized by the Maryland Cybersecurity Center. The workshop participants were excited to learn about how internet safety and security impacts their lives on a daily basis through hands-on, interactive activities led by UMD undergraduate students.

The girls started off the morning by participating in an ice-breaker activity, and then divided into smaller groups that rotated through four different sessions throughout the day. In each activity, UMD undergraduates majoring in computer science or engineering led engaging activities on topics including internet privacy, social media safety, cryptography, and strengthening passwords.

“It is never too early to start learning how to use computers safely. We hope that after attending this workshop, girls will feel more comfortable using technology and they will consider pursuing courses of study in STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] fields,” said Ashlyn Vander Woude, Graduate Assistant for Education at the Maryland Cybersecurity Center. “This workshop provides a unique opportunity for these girls to interact with highly motivated and skilled undergraduate mentors that are excited to share their knowledge about this field.”

Cybersecurity wkshp
This year, a number of UMD volunteers came from the Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES), a unique cybersecurity honors program, and from Virtus and Flexus, two engineering focused Living and Learning Programs. The participants enjoyed asking the volunteers questions about their majors, their interests in cybersecurity, and about their future career plans during this “speed meeting” activity.

At the end of the day, the participants were eager to share what they had learned with their parents during the closing ceremony. Each group presented on one of the activities they participated in that day and provided the audience with tips on how to become smarter and safer computer users.

This program is one of many educational outreach programs offered by the Maryland Cybersecurity Center, all designed to encourage young people to pursue cybersecurity and other related fields.

Future events for middle school and high school students can be found at: