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26 Teachers Participate in Free Cyber Security Boot Camp

A group of 26 high school math and science teachers from 13 states are participating in an all-expenses-paid cyber security boot camp at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) this week.

Part of the university's Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW), the Cyber Security Summer Boot Camp is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the result of a collaboration between NYU-Poly and CUNY New York City College of Technology.

Currently in its ninth year, CSAW is "an annual competition that unites teams of high school and college students for a week of white-hat hacking, forensics, capture-the-flag, and embedded systems challenges," according to information released by NYU-Poly.

As part of the boot camp, the teachers, who represent 13 states, will receive instruction in cyber forensics and other security topics before competing in events similar to those in the student competition. They will also learn how to integrate security topics into their science curricula.

After the competition, the teachers will return to their home schools to mentor teams for the High School Cyber Forensics Challenge, which will take place in November. Participants have also committed to helping another school in their area start a team.

"The mission of CSAW is to build the skills of future cyber security leaders, but the finals run just one week--students with an interest in this field will reap tremendous benefits from having a knowledgeable mentor in their home school, working with them throughout the year," said Nasir Memon, professor of computer science and director of NYU-Poly's Information Systems and Internet Security Lab. "This program is a first step toward increasing the number of students who will find their enthusiasm about cyber security matched and fostered by their own teachers."

The boot camp is also part of an NSF-funded university study designed "to gauge the effectiveness of cyber security competitions in encouraging high schoolers to pursue careers in the field" and "explore ways of boosting the number of women entering cyber security," according to information released by the school.

"We're aiming to create cybersecurity education evangelists, and hope that this first group of teachers will return with both the passion and the know-how to engage their students and those in neighboring schools," Memon said. "Ultimately, this isn't only about fun. The safety and privacy of the Internet and all our mobile devices will someday be in the hands of these students, so we had better be sure they are prepared."

More information about the Cyber Security Summer Boot Camp is available at poly.edu/cybersummer.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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