NSA summer camp aims to inspire girls to pursue cybersecurity careers

Free to students and teachers K-12, the program hopes to improve teaching methods for computer science curricula.

Summer is coming, and for many girls – and boys – it means a couple of weeks at summer camp.

This year will mark the fourth year the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation team up to sponsor GenCyber camps across the country.

The camps are free, and they are open to students and teachers at the K-12 level – both for girls and boys, though some specify girls only.

Launched in 2015, the agencies are preparing for another round of teaching and learning this summer.

One of the goals is to inspire girls to consider a STEM career. STEM, of course, stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Another goal is to ensure there are enough cybersecurity experts to fill the expected need.

 “Our vision is for the GenCyber program to be part of the solution to the Nation's shortfall of skilled cybersecurity professionals, the GenCyber site states.

The NSA puts it this way on its site:

“Ensuring that enough young people are inspired to direct their talents in this area 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.”

According to NSA officials. 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 demand.

The stated goals of the program are to help all students understand correct and safe on-line behavior, increase diversity and interest in cybersecurity and careers in the cybersecurity workforce of the nation, and improve teaching methods for delivering cybersecurity content in K-12 computer science curricula.

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com

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