Secondary teachers learning about cybersecurity at GenCyber camp


Dr. Ray Vaughn welcomes teachers from throughout the region to the GenCyber Cybersecurity Camp.

Michael Mercier | UAH

This week, local secondary school teachers are at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) learning how to bring cybersecurity lessons to their classrooms at a free weeklong GenCyber Cybersecurity Camp.

"GenCyber is a national program sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency jointly to promote the cybersecurity education of teachers and students at secondary school level," says Dr. Ray Vaughn, UAH vice president for research and economic development, whose office is hosting the camp on behalf of the university.

A total of 29 university and college campuses in 18 states are hosting GenCyber summer camps this year. Officials plan to expand from the current 43 camps to 200 by 2020.

We have substantial capability at UAH to assist in this important area and believe it is our community obligation to do so.

Dr. Ray Vaughn
Vice President for Research and Economic Development

"UAH has an established relationship with the cybersecurity programs here in the Huntsville-Madison County area, and it was our desire to assist with providing helpful resources to teachers in this area initially and later - perhaps next year - do something similar for students through no-cost summer camps," Dr. Vaughn says. "We have substantial capability at UAH to assist in this important area and believe it is our community obligation to do so."

Ongoing through July 17 and based at UAH's Olin B. King Technology Hall, the camp is for teachers who preregistered for it from the Huntsville City, Madison City, Madison County and private school systems.

"We intend to provide the teachers attending this event with teaching resources, lab exercises and materials helpful to them when they teach their students at high schools or middle schools in this region," Dr. Vaughn says. "In this initial training, teachers will receive instruction in 'first principles' of cybersecurity, operating system security, network security, database security and digital forensics. In addition, the participants will spend several hours each day in hands-on practical lab exercises."

Teachers are learning those concepts during eight-hour days spent at the camp so that they will be better prepared to spark interest in the high-demand cybersecurity field among their high school students.

"The Huntsville community has strong interest in cybersecurity education of its workforce," says Dr. Vaughn. "The Huntsville City Schools have led the way in integrating cybersecurity curriculum into their schools and believe this is important to support and to promulgate to other schools.

"These students, regardless of whether they later attend UAH or another school, will be well versed in cybersecurity topics and become contributing members of the workforce needed in this community. It is our desire to help in this regard in any way we can."



Dr. Ray Vaughn

Jim Steele


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