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CyberCamp Teaches High School Students Cyber Defense Skills

AFA CyberCamp participants at Regent University
AFA CyberCamp participants at Regent University

Regent University recently hosted its first Air Force Association’s (AFA) CyberCamp on campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia. High school students from area public and private schools attended the five-day event to learn about cyber ethics, online safety, cyber threats and cybersecurity principles.

The camp included lab activities similar to those assigned to IT professionals, such as setting up secure user accounts, file permissions, software update schedules and firewall settings. The camp culminated with an AFA CyberPatriot Competition, in which participants applied and tested what they learned about cyber security and safety. Students earned points for finding and correcting vulnerabilities in the system, and lost points for causing the system to become susceptible to attacks.

“Regent understands the value of capturing the interest of today’s youth through innovative technology. We hosted the AFA CyberCamp to introduce students to the exciting vocation of cybersecurity – one of the fastest growing career fields,” said Professor Cheryl Beauchamp, department chair of Engineering & Computer Science at Regent’s College of Arts & Sciences.

“We have a shortage of qualified professionals in this industry,” she added. “Regent is committed to training the next generation of cyber defense experts. That’s why we established the Institute for Cybersecurity. Our graduates will go on to serve at the forefront of cybersecurity, securing cyber positions in the government, military, academic sector, private business and more.”

The AFA CyberCamp, developed by CyberPatriot – The National Youth Cyber Education Program, aims at inspiring students to pursue STEM-related activities outside of the school year. The camp’s curriculum and activities are mostly computer-based, providing fun, hands-on learning of cybersecurity principles relevant and applicable to everyday life.