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Applications Open for 2018 Nebraska GenCyber Camp Planned for June

Middle and High School Teachers and 9th and 10th Graders Invited to Apply for Free Camp

For the third consecutive year, a cybersecurity camp, called Nebraska GenCyber (NGC), will introduce Omaha-area students and teachers to the fast-growing field.

The free, two-week camp, is currently accepting applications. Sessions for teachers from middle or high school, in any discipline, run June 18 – 29. Student sessions run June 25 – 29. Student applicants should be entering grades 9 or 10 in the fall.

Funded by a grant through the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation, GenCyber is a national program. In Omaha, the NGC camp will take place at Bellevue University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

The program offers students fun, hands-on activities to get students interested in careers in computing and cybersecurity. Teachers experience the same activities, but also receive support developing cybersecurity curricula for use in their classrooms.

For two years in a row, Nebraska GenCyber has been recognized as one of the top combination camps in the country for its innovative structure, engaging curriculum, and impact on the community.

Matt Hale, assistant professor of cybersecurity at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, is once again serving as Gencyber’s program director. He says students from across the region are benefiting from the camp as teachers take the lessons of the camp back to the classroom.

“We are seeing this camp build a community of secondary school teachers who are using our content to introduce their own students to cybersecurity and computing,” Hale said. “We estimate our camp content has reached nearly 1,000 kids over the past two years, helping us meet the growing national need for cybersecurity education and practitioners.”

This year’s theme involves building and tinkering with Internet of Things (IoT) devices – physical technology with network connectivity.

Doug Rausch, program director for cybersecurity at Bellevue University, says a key part of the camp’s success is how it involves both educators and students in separate and collaborative sessions.

“Teachers and students will come together on the last day of camp for a large capture-the-flag drone competition,” Rausch said. “It’s a fun, hands-on way to reinforce lessons from the camp.”

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