The Smithton School District recently hosted a CyberPatriot summer camp supported in conjunction with the Midwest Cyber Center of Excellence and Scott AFB.
Smithton School is one of the distinguished organizations across the United States selected to participate in the second season of the Air Force Association’s CyberCamp Program this summer. The camp emphasizes fun and firsthand learning of cybersecurity principles that are useful in everyday life.
Twelve middle school students from the Smithton, Belle Valley, Harmony, and Signal Hill school districts were led by the 375th Communications Squadron with volunteer cyber advisors from 375th Communications Group, 835th and 837th Cyber Operations Squadrons, and Air Force Network Integration Center. While attending the week-long camp, the students learned computer skills and cyber security techniques such as command line, OS security, and social engineering mitigation.
The camp puts the students in the role of IT administrators tasked with finding and addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated network environments. Belle Valley students Kimberly Radecki, Russell Wise and Dennis Cook took first place in the mock CyberPatriot competition.
Both the Federal STEM education five-year strategic plan and the Air Force Information Dominance Flight Plan highlight the importance of STEM education and engagement to not only recruit cyber professionals for Air Force service, but also to partner with local communities for cyber education and training to ensure lasting contributions to the security of the nation.
Col. Terrence Adams, 375th Communications Group Commander
“STEM and Cybersecurity are both national priorities,” said Col. Terrence Adams, 375th Communications Group commander. “Both the Federal STEM education five-year strategic plan and the Air Force Information Dominance Flight Plan highlight the importance of STEM education and engagement to not only recruit cyber professionals for Air Force service, but also to partner with local communities for cyber education and training to ensure lasting contributions to the security of the nation. It’s essential to the success of the missions executed at Scott Air Force Base and around the world for Air Force cyber professionals to be engaged in increasing the cyber security capacity in local communities.
“The growing need to defend the U.S. against persistent cyber threats requires specific cyber skills. The available national workforce is not able to meet the exponentially growing need for technically skilled cyber professionals needed to continue to protect our citizens, data and national digital resources.”
Scott AFB personnel will team up with the Midwest Cyber Center of Excellence by lending their expertise as technical mentors for teams participating in this year’s National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.
MWCCOE conducts outreach to regional schools and civic organizations to establish CyberPatriot teams throughout the St. Louis region in efforts to inspire students towards cybersecurity and other STEM careers critical to our nation’s future.