The Cyber Innovation Center (CIC) has been recognized by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe for its partnership with the Virginia Department of Education in curricula development and design, in addition to providing professional development for Virginia’s CyberCamp 2016 program.
CyberCamp 2016 was part of Governor McAuliffe’s statewide initiative to bring cyber and cybersecurity to students in challenged school districts across the commonwealth. Virginia CyberCamp 2016 was a pilot program that used content developed by the CIC to give Virginia students a chance to learn about important cyber issues such as malware, social engineering, phishing, identity theft, network security, and breach prevention.
During the spring of 2016, subject matter experts from the CIC traveled to all eight Superintendent’s Regions to deliver the content and instructional ideas to nearly 300 teachers from 32 schools. “Schools sent teams of faculty including content teachers, guidance counselors, CTE representatives, and even administrators. Everyone learned the material so they could deliver the greatest impact to the students,” said Dr. Chuck Gardner, Cyber Innovation Center’s Director of Curricula. “It was truly a team effort embraced by all levels, from the Governor to the department of education down to the teachers on the front line.”
Over 800 campers from across the state attended informational sessions on in-demand careers and personal experiences of cyber professionals, an aspect designed to help build the pipeline for K-12 education to meet Virginia’s cybersecurity workforce demands. Campers were also given the opportunity to test for IC3 GS4 certification, and 43 were able to obtain certification after only three weeks of immersive, summer content! IC3 is a foundational skills certification that assesses knowledge of computer literacy, key applications, and living in a connected society. “The results of the camp, including campers obtaining IC3 certification, went above and beyond everyone’s expectations,” said Dr. Gardner.
Mrs. Lolita Hall, the Director of the Office of Career and Technical Education Services at the Virginia Department of Education, said, “The partnership that developed between the Virginia Department of Education and the Cyber Innovation Center provided outstanding professional development in preparing the school teams for statewide implementation of CyberCamp 2016. The CIC’s role in the problem-driven curriculum design was vital to the success of the 32 CyberCamps.”
One teacher participating in the camp as a facilitator stated, “CyberCamp was a wonderful experience for teachers and students. Students worked together and gained leadership, problem-solving, team-building, and communication skills. One student started off as a ‘disinterested student’ but soon changed his behavior and became highly engaged and developed a great interest in cybersecurity.”
To learn more about CIC’s academic outreach programs, please visit www.nicerc.org.