Newswise – The Center for Cybersecurity at the University of West Florida is preparing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals through its innovative GenCyber Experience Cyber Challenge courses and GenCyber Summer Camp.
The GenCyber Experience Cyber Challenge courses were held April 15 and 22 at the UWF Center for Cybersecurity and provided middle and high school students across the region with an opportunity to learn about cybersecurity, including open source intelligence, coding, web attacks and Kali Linux. The students were confronted with different cyber problems and learned how to solve them.
“They taught us how to play poker to show us that when you play you risk everything you have to take from someone else; and that’s what hackers do,” said Isabella Fayard, a seventh-grade student at Avalon Middle School. “They also taught us that cybersecurity professionals test the security of websites using penetration platforms like Kali Linux. One of my favorite things was when they asked us to go to a webpage, look at its coding, and figure out how to hack it.
The upcoming GenCyber summer camp for students in grades 7-10 offers an in-depth introduction to the world of cybersecurity. The free weeklong camp is offered June 5-9 or June 12-16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the UWF Center for Cybersecurity in downtown Pensacola. Attendees will spend the week making new friends, interacting with cybersecurity professionals, and gaining hands-on experience with real-world labs.
“I think GenCyber programs are good for kids because they’re really fun and it’s important for my generation to learn about cybersecurity for any job they have in the future,” Fayard said. “After taking the Cyber Challenge courses, I think a lot more about a career in cybersecurity.”
Funded by the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation, the GenCyber program strives to be part of the solution to the national shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals. The program’s vision is to inspire the next generation of cyberstars by working with universities and federal partners to create cybersecurity awareness, increase interest, and teach strong cybersecurity fundamentals that strengthen the ecosystem. cybersecurity education and the nation’s future workforce.
Registration for upcoming GenCyber Summer Camps is now open at uwf.edu/gencyber.
For more information about the UWF Center for Cybersecurity, visit uwf.edu/cyber.