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March 29, 2021

The Teach Cyber Megabyte

Thanks for being part of the Teach Cyber mailing list! We're excited to share relevant and useful information about Teach Cyber and other resources, events, and news in cybersecurity education. Feel free to forward and share! (Please note: if you forward this to someone else and they click "unsubscribe", you may be unsubscribed from the mailing list.)

In this month's Megabyte: Important Upcoming Events; 2020 Cybersecurity Pathways Awards Winners; Cybersecurity Word of the Week
The Teach Cyber team will hold our next Teach Cyber Virtual Lounge April 15. The purpose of the lounge is to provide a casual space in which the Teach Cyber team, cybersecurity teachers, and other cybersecurity education stakeholders can connect.

Join us for this panel discussion on Building Cybersecurity Programs and Pathways. You will hear from experienced educators who have been pioneered cybersecurity in their high schools. In the virtual lounge we highlight how these programs started, where they are today, and where they are going in the next 3-5 years. The discussion will provide opportunities for sharing, benchmarking, and brainstorming.
When: April 15 at 7pm ET
Cost: Free
Registration Required: Register here

We hope you can make it!
TC Lounge Building Programs and Pathways
April 20, 21, 27, and 28, 2021 2021 Dell Technologies Cybersecurity Summit
The summit is designed to provide an opportunity for schools and districts to collaborate on their cybersecurity programs, while providing students with opportunities to engage in a cybersecurity competition and understand their pathways within the field. Teach Cyber is a pleased to be partnering with Dell to bring you this important event!

Click here to see the full agenda!
When: April 20, 21, 27 and 28, from 1:30 - 4:30 pm EST
Cost: Free
Registration Required: Register here

Cybersecurity Recruitment Contest Update!!

On March 20, 2021 Teach Cyber announced our Cybersecurity Recruitment Contest. Due to Spring Break schedules, the deadline to register a team to enter has been extended to April 5, 2021. To be eligible to enter the contest, you MUST be a high school teacher.

Entering the contest is easy! You just need to answer a few questions here. Final entries will be due in late May.
2021 CRC Flyer p1

Podcast Features Teach Cyber

Teach Cyber is featured on this week's Connected Nation Podcast. If you want to share more about Teach Cyber with other teachers, counselors, or school administrators, this would be a nice interview to share!

Click Here to Access the Teach Cyber Podcast on Connected Nation

Pathways to Cybersecurity Award Winners

We're excited to feature the following Teach Cyber 2020 Cybersecurity Teachers of the Year! These teachers were presented with the "Pathways to Cybersecurity" award. This award recognizes teachers who (in addition to teaching a cybersecurity class) developed cybersecurity programs, host clubs, and/or coach competitions. Their efforts have given students multiple means to enter or advance along a cybersecurity path.
Teach of the year

Deb Gray

AL School of Math & Science
Mobile, AL

Two-and-a-half years of cybersecurity teaching experience
Why is teaching cybersecurity important to you?
Cybersecurity is a critical, timely topic that crosscuts all aspects of our lives. It sparks student interest and deep dives into a wide range of CS topics from Linux to networking to cryptography to cyber ethics. Students have fun solving problems and collaborating in competitions. It opens opportunities for them at universities and in their careers.

Accomplishments in advancing cybersecurity education:
On top of everything else that a busy teacher does, Deb learned about cybersecurity so she could teach students who were interested. Not only has she advocated for cybersecurity courses for her students, taken on the challenge of learning to teach them and having them added to the school's academic offerings (no easy feat in a public high school), but she has also sponsored and trained students to be successful in numerous cybersecurity competitions.
  • CyberPatriot's Coach and Cybersecurity Club Sponsor (participate in Girls Go Cyberstart, Cyberstart, and various CTF competitions virtually and in person)
  • June 2020 Girls Go CyberStart 2nd in Alabama, a U.S. national high school cybersecurity championships sponsored by the SANS institute
  • 2019/20 Three CyberPatriot's teams were at top levels in state competition in platinum, gold, and silver tiers
  • 2019/20 Two teams placed first and second place at the University of Alabama CTF competition
  • Received approval for new Computer Security Fundamentals course
  • Teaching new Computer Security Fundamentals and CyberEthics Classes (also participating in the TeachCyber.org Pilot program)
  • Led a Directed Research class after school for students interested in certification. They used TestOut software.
  • Two female students were certified the first year in Network+
  • Taught virtual Cryptography course for middle school students (for our ASMS middle school math and science summer camp which went virtual for the first time.)
  • Igniting student interest in CS and Cybersecurity, resulting in students applying and being accepted into CS university programs across the state and U.S
Do you have any advice for new cybersecurity teachers?
Reach out -- for opportunities to train when they cross your desk, for help from more experienced teachers or CyberPatriot's coaches in your state, for curriculum like TeachCyber and Cyber.org. Use existing lab resources via a certification path like TestOut or the US CyberRange. Enable and encourage students to follow their interests and not be afraid to figure it out on their own. Nurture student collaboration through competitions like picoCTF, CyberPatriot's, CyberStart.

I have had a blast with this. And my students that have moved on to study computer science at universities have an excellent grounding in solving problems and computational thinking from their dives into the world of cybersecurity.

Congratulations, Deb! Thank you for everything you do to further cybersecurity education.
Why is teaching cybersecurity important to you?
Teaching cybersecurity is important to me because of the reported 3.5 million jobs globally being unfilled due to lack of talent. As a career technology educator, I am dedicated to assist in building a young workforce to fill the demand. Cybersecurity is a very diverse field and provides exciting opportunities for our younger workforce. I am honored to have the opportunity to help students prepare for a career of a life-time and become cyber warriors.

Accomplishments in advancing cybersecurity education:
  • Diana has been the instructor for 2 years now. She started the program at our career center and is growing it from the ground up. Diana's many years of experience in the IT and cybersecurity industry has been huge in starting this HS program for 11th and 12th graders.
  • Diana is advancing cybersecurity education by constantly looking for experiences and opportunities for her students. This year her students and program participated and placed highly in a highly competitive Dayton Regional Stem Capture the Flag competition. Her students placed 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th place in it.
  • Diana also is constantly looking for ways to challenge her students as evidenced by her program's participation in the National Initiative of Cybersecurity Education virtual conference in the Fall. She also is always looking for funding for improvements to her program as evidenced by her for applying to ORG's Technology Grant Program and receiving cyberbots. She really tries to reach her students through hands-on cyber education.
Diana Conner-Marks

Diana Conner-Marks

Warren County Career Center
Lebanon, OH

Two years of cybersecurity teaching experience
Do you have any advice for new cybersecurity teachers?
My advice to cybersecurity teachers is to use the plethora of free online resources and curriculum available from TeachCyber.org, Palo Alto Networks, CISCO, Cyberstart, HackMe, HackerHighSchool, Technovation Girls Curriculum, CodeHS, CyberGuild and Cyber.org to name a few. In addition, I recommend students participate in Capture the Flag events such as CyberPatriot and other national cybersecurity competitions in BPA (Business Professionals of America) and TSA (Technical Student Association).
Congratulations, Diana! Thank you for your hard work in advancing cybersecurity education.
Katrina Riggleman

Katrina Riggleman

Riverbend H.S.
Fredericksburg, VA

Three years of cybersecurity teaching experience
Why is teaching cybersecurity important to you?
Teaching cybersecurity has been one of the most rewarding and challenging opportunities that I have encountered. Technology encompasses my students' lives and the knowledge they gain from these courses will help protect them and the organizations they may work for in the future. I also have the opportunity to encourage students to try something new and to build up my student’s confidence in that exploration. Teaching cybersecurity is truly more than just security it is about sharing my passion for the subject and providing the opportunity for students to explore new and exciting career opportunities that are rewarding and in high demand.

Accomplishments in advancing cybersecurity education:
  • Helped to design, implement and launch our Cybersecurity program in our school division.
  • Created a Cyberbend club and launched a Girls Go Cyber club for which has had over 100 girls compete in CTF events!
  • Accepted into the Virginia Space Grant Consortium Xperience XinaBox: Experiential Learning for IoT workshop.
  • This teacher's accomplishments in this area are too numerous to list!
Do you have any advice for new cybersecurity teachers?
My advice to Novice teachers is to breathe and accept that you do not need to be an expert. There will be a learning curve as the industry is constantly changing and I recommend seeking out training opportunities like Gen Cyber camps and conferences like NICEK12 or the Virginia Cybersecurity Education Conference that will allow you to connect and partner with other cyber teachers and industry professionals. I also recommend starting with engaging resources that are readily available and that you can customize to your students’ needs such as Teachcyber.org, Cyber.org and the Virginia Cyber Range.
Why is teaching cybersecurity important to you?
In our connected world, cybersecurity issues will affect every individual, business and nation. A course in cybersecurity exposes students to the broad range of fascinating careers in this field. When students think of computer science, they first think of programming. We need to expand student horizons so that they view computer science as also being about networks, encryption and data protection. We need to get students excited, engaged and interested in the field of cybersecurity as it is vital to the well-being of our nation and our businesses.

Accomplishments in advancing cybersecurity education:
  • Creating a Cybersecurity curriculum for my school. We now offer 2 sections of this course, with significant female representation.
  • Creating a Cybersecurity Club and participating in Cybersecurity competitions. Last year, one of my teams placed first in the state of Wisconsin in the CyberPatriot competition. Students have also placed highly in the PicoCTF competitions sponsored by Carnegie Mellon. This year we have several teams with perfect scores after two rounds of the CyberSkyline year-long competition.
  • Foster a partnership with local businesses that work in Cybersecurity related fields. Most notably, we have paired with Northwestern Mutual Life. On an annual basis, students tour the Northwestern Mutual campus and hear speakers who work in the Cybersecurity field. Employees of Northwestern Mutual have also served as guest speakers in my Cybersecurity class.
Mike Cullen

Mike Cullen

Cedarburg H.S.
Cedarburg, WI

Four years of cybersecurity teaching experience

Do you have any advice for new cybersecurity teachers?
As a beginning teacher in cyber security, give yourself permission to learn as you teach. You won't know everything at the start, but your knowledge will grow as you work through the course. The summer GenCyber workshops held around the country offer a great opportunity to learn about cybersecurity and develop a network of like-minded teachers. I am also thrilled with the Teach Cyber curriculum that is now available. I have modified many of these lessons for use in my own course. I have also been pleasantly surprised by the knowledge base in my local community--you will likely find business leaders, law enforcement and your own school IT people who can share their knowledge with you.

Congratulations, Mike! Thank you for your hard work in advancing cybersecurity education.
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