Utilizing underwater robots, aerial drones and cutting-edge coding techniques, 50 high school students from throughout the region have gained hands-on cybersecurity experience as part of Pace University’s Camp CryptoBot.
Inspired by a mission to motivate younger students to pursue cybersecurity – especially women and those from underserved areas – the camp is supported by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Science Foundation. Earlier in July, Pace University also hosted a two-week cybersecurity workshop for teachers to help facilitate the integration of cybersecurity concepts into lessons and after-school activities.
“By 2020, it’s estimated that up to 2 million unfilled cybersecurity positions will exist in the United States. From national security to personal privacy, this shortage poses a critical threat to our society – but also an opportunity for students,” said Professor Pauline Mosley, who is spearheading the camp on behalf of Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. “Pace University is committed to closing that gap by inspiring younger students to pursue cybersecurity and by equipping teachers with the resources they need to incorporate these lessons.”
In addition to hands-on labs, Camp CryptoBot also taught students to understand safe online behavior and how ethics applies to cybersecurity. The five-day camp was free for all accepted students, including free breakfast and lunch.
“Westchester County has one of the nation’s most highly-educated and talented workforces in the entire country, and it’s because of forward-thinking programs such as this one at Pace University that we continue to be at the forefront of technological innovation,” said Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester. “I applaud all of these eager young students, as well as the faculty at Pace University, for leading the way.”
NSA National Cryptologic School Commandant Diane Janosek said: “Pace University’s commitment to cybersecurity education benefits the whole nation. Everything we do today has a cybersecurity component to it. GenCyber gives students the opportunity to learn about the role cybersecurity plays in their daily lives and encourages them to consider working in this field.”
Sponsored by the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation, GenCyber offers summer cybersecurity camps free-of-cost to students and teachers in grades K-12. Since 2014, more than 12,000 students and 3,000 teachers have attended GenCyber camps. In 2019, 122 GenCyber camps will be held at 76 institutions across 38 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico, reaching more than 3,000 students and 800 teachers.