12:18 PM

Applications Open for 2021 Midwest GenCyber Camp

Omaha-area high school students can explore cybersecurity and the Internet of Things (IoT) at the nationally recognized Midwest GenCyber Student Camp set for June 21-25.

The free, week-long camp hosted by Metropolitan Community College and Bellevue University, is currently accepting applications. Thirty camp slots are available and student applicants should be entering grades 9-12 in the fall.

Funded by a grant through the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation, GenCyber is a national program.

Locally, the weeklong day camp will be held at Metropolitan Community College’s campus at 32nd and Sorensen Parkway. Campers will receive a free breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks and take home a technology swag bag.

The camp curriculum provides students with fun, hands-on activities like making and breaking apps to explore security vulnerabilities, exploring a cyber escape room, conducting forensic investigations, and a “capture the flag” challenge to get students interested in careers in computing and cybersecurity.

Over the last five years, Midwest GenCyber has been recognized as one of the top cyber camps in the country for its innovative structure, engaging curriculum, and impact on the community.

Gary Sparks, MCC cybersecurity program director and an adjunct faculty member at Bellevue University, will serve as the Midwest GenCyber program director. He says students will learn key concepts by doing and gain exposure to all kinds of cybersecurity careers. Professionals working in the cybersecurity field will also participate in the camp as guest speakers each day.

“We are seeing this camp build a pipeline of students who have an interest and foundation in key cyber concepts,” Sparks said. “We estimate our camp content has reached nearly 1,000 young adults over the past three years, helping us meet the growing regional and national need for cybersecurity education and practitioners.”

This year’s theme involves creating and programming Internet of Things (IoT) devices; exploring cybersecurity devices like drones and sensors; and putting computer forensics skills to use.

Karla Carter, Associate Professor of Cybersecurity at Bellevue University and Lead Instructor for the camp, says a key part of the camp’s success is how it helps students from all backgrounds master cybersecurity concepts as they work alongside their peers.

“Students will come together, have fun and learn, all at the same time,” Carter said. “Bottom line, this camp is a great way to introduce your children to one of the country’s fastest-growing careers.”

Metropolitan Community College Contact: 

Derek Rayment
Metropolitan Community College

About Metro Community College

Founded in 1966, Bellevue University is a non-profit university with more than 60,000 graduates worldwide. The University is a recognized national leader in preparing students for lifelong success with career-relevant knowledge and skills, while making college affordable. Routinely ranked among the nation’s top military and accessible institutions, the University serves residential students at its main campus in Bellevue, Nebraska, and everywhere online with more than 80 degree programs uniquely designed for working adults. The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org).