University of Maryland Global Campus recently hosted an intensive weeklong program for high school teachers interested in cybersecurity curriculum development.

The program, GenCyber 2019 Teacher Camp, was sponsored by the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation and took place July 8–12, 2019.

Twenty-five highly qualified high school teachers from the disciplines of computer science, network technology, business, library science, math, and homeland security received a range of lesson plans, games, labs, curricula and other supporting tools and technologies to teach their students about cybersecurity. The specific curriculum centered around topics that included thinking like an adversary, depth of defense, confidentiality, integrity, keeping it simple, and availability.

Attendees had an opportunity to network with cyber professionals from the State of Maryland Department of Education Computer Science Curriculum staff, the National Security Agency, the Maryland Center for Cybersecurity Education, UMGC, the award-winning UMGC cyber competition team, and others.

Demand for Cyber Professionals

The supply of cybersecurity professionals has fallen far short of demand, with some studies estimating the gap being as large as 600,000. In addition, cybersecurity is rarely taught in schools, even within computer science classes. The GenCyber Teacher Camps are designed to promote 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.

"As the risk of cyberattacks and intrusions continues to rise, it is imperative that we develop a workforce with the skills needed to ensure the security of federal, state, and local governments; the military; private industry; and nonprofits against cyber threats," said Loyce Pailen, who led the event and is a professor of cybersecurity management and policy at UMGC as well as the director of the Center for Security Studies at UMGC. "We are honored to host this GenCyber event to help teachers provide students with a basic understanding of cybersecurity, so that they can appreciate how cybersecurity impacts all aspects of their lives."

Participants

High schools from the following Maryland counties were represented: Baltimore, Calvert, Charles, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, Worchester. Loudon County, VA was also represented.

Damon L. Austin - DeMatha Catholic High School
Mete Bayram - CMIT Academy
Nora Blasko - Great Mills High School
Thomas Currier - Huntingtown High School
Mark Estep - Poolesville High School
Frederick Fisher II - Frederick Douglass H.S
Francisco Gomez - Parkdale High School
Erinn Izzo - Edgewood High School
Helene A. Johnson - Suitland Senior High
Stephanie Johnson-Rolle - Atholton High School
Lorraine Lloyd - Loudoun Valley High School
Roderick McQuaid - Pocomoke High School
Mary Miller - Worcester Technical High School
Michael Nealon - Northern High School
Kenneth N. Nwocha - Springbrook High School
Kimberly Price - Springbrook HS
Rowena Nueva Rhinehart - High Point High School
Aarti Sangwan - Worcester Technical High School
Alicia Stahl - Westlake High School
Samantha Thompson - Parkdale High School
Mehmet Uyman - CMIT Academy
Daniel Whalen - Oxon Hill High School
Gerard C. Yavo - Duval High School
Arthur Young - LaPlata High School

About GenCyber Camps

The GenCyber program provides summer cybersecurity camp experiences for students and teachers at the K-12 level. The goals of the program are to increase interest in cybersecurity careers and diversity in the cybersecurity workforce of the nation, help students understand correct and safe on-line behavior and how they can be good digital citizens, and improve teaching methods for delivery of cybersecurity content in K-12 curricula.

The GenCyber program seeks to be part of the solution to the nation's shortfall of skilled cybersecurity professionals.

UMGC staff supporting the event included Michelle Hansen, Collegiate Professor, Cybersecurity and Computer Forensics; Brandie Shatto, Program Chair, Master of Education in Instructional Technology; Mamadou Thiam, Lab Director, The Graduate School; and Jennifer Hull.