Frequently Asked Questions
The GenCyber program provides summer cybersecurity camp experiences for students and teachers at the K–12 level. The goals of the GenCyber program are to:
- Ignite, sustain, and increase awareness of K–12 cybersecurity content and cybersecurity postsecondary and career opportunities for participants through year-round engagement
- Increase student diversity in cybersecurity college and career readiness pathways at the K–12 level
- Facilitate teacher readiness within a teacher learning community to learn, develop, and deliver cybersecurity content for the K–12 classroom in collaboration with other nationwide initiatives
The GenCyber program strives to be a part of the solution to the nation’s shortfall of skilled cybersecurity professionals. Ensuring that enough young people are inspired to utilize their talents in cybersecurity is critical to the future of our country’s national and economic security as we become even more reliant on cyber-based technology in every aspect of our daily lives.
To ensure a level playing field, GenCyber camps are open to all student and teacher participants at no cost. Funding is provided by the National Security Agency.
Grant Authority: CFDA 12.903 GenCyber Grants Program
Camps are designed for either students or teachers. UMGC is holding a Teacher Camp only for 2021. Eligible teachers are high school teachers in grades 9–12 in Maryland or the National Capital area. This camp is geared toward technology teachers or teachers with technical experience who can incorporate cybersecurity into their curriculum.
To date, funding has been provided by the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation.
The supply of cybersecurity professionals has fallen far short of demand, with some studies estimating the gap being as large as 600,000+ professionals needed to meet the Nation’s demand. The NSA hopes to turn this around.
In addition, cybersecurity is rarely taught in schools even within computer science classes. The NSA hopes to help change that by spurring best practices in cybersecurity pedagogy across content areas and development of curricula and lesson plans that can be used to infuse cybersecurity principles across many subject areas.
Cybersecurity is vital to the future of the United States, not just at the government level, but also at the industrial, economic, academic, and personal levels as well. It is critical that young students have a basic understanding of cybersecurity so that as they learn through their schooling and personal experiences, they can see how cybersecurity impacts all aspects of their lives, be it through social media, economic situations, or physical devices.
Our country is entering an era where it is likely that numerous household items, personal computing devices, and business systems will be connected to the Internet of Things. In this rapidly evolving technology environment, everyone needs to be cognizant of cybersecurity. Whether you are an NSA analyst, an accountant, an electrician, or a stay-at-home mom or dad, these devices will become increasingly important in our lives. We need both broad awareness of cybersecurity in the general population and experts in the field who can identify and mitigate vulnerabilities.