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UNG to host cybersecurity summer camp for local teachers and students
03202021 SUMMERCAMP
The University of North Georgia will host two summer camp programs for teachers and students interested in cybersecurity and operations, skills experts say are in high demand. (Courtesy UNG)

The University of North Georgia will host two summer camp programs for teachers and students interested in cybersecurity and operations, skills experts say are in high demand.

2021 marks the first year UNG is opening the training to educators. 

The cybersecurity educational opportunities are funded by a grant of $169,113 from the National Security Agency GenCyber Program, according to a UNG news release. 

The teacher event is set for June 7-11 and will host 24 middle and high school teachers, the school says. The event was created through UNG’s Advancing GenCyber Education for North Georgia Teachers initiative, or AGENT. The initiative aims to train teachers who are interested in cybersecurity and improving computer science instructional practices, according to the university.

All participants in the summer program must be teaching in a middle or high school STEM or computer science classroom and obtain a basic understanding of computers and technology. However teachers aren’t required to have experience in coding or cyber. 

Teachers who participate will receive 30 hours of tuition-free professional development from cyber leaders from agencies such as the NSA. Upon completion of the program, a one-time $300 stipend is given to the teachers, as well as a USB flash drive with all the lesson materials and related classroom software. Participants are also given admission to the annual Hacker Halted Conference in Atlanta. The annual conference features over 50 speakers, who touch on ethical hacking, computer forensics and more.

Dr. Lindsay Linsky, a UNG associate professor of middle grades education and the AGENT Initiative's lead instructor, said the program is important because there are thousands of cyber jobs available in the workforce. Over 520,000 cyber jobs are available nationwide and more than 17,000 in Georgia, according to CyberSeek, a company presenting data about the supply and demand in the cybersecurity job market.

"Cybersecurity is an important part of any computer science," Linsky said in a UNG news release. "We need more and more teachers prepared to teach these types of subjects." 

Application priority will be given to teachers from Title I schools, teams of two or more teachers from the same school and administrators and their teams. The deadline to apply for the teacher event is April 1. 

The student academy, GenCyber Warrior Academy, will be hosted from June 10-19 and include 20 female and 20 male students. 

Applications have closed, but participating students will receive hands-on lab activities and learn from nine UNG instructors. Students will also engage in activities involving coding in Python, Sphero robotics, drone programming, 3D printing and more.
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