Photo Feature: UCCS hosts third GenCyber summer camps

For the third year, UCCS is hosting GenCyber camps for local middle school students and teachers from local middle and high schools to participate in. They’re held Monday through Friday in June and July at the Kevin W. O’Neil Cybersecurity Education & Research Center.

The students participate in activities and hand-on lessons to learn about cybersecurity concepts, virtual reality, ciphers, lock-picking, industry speakers, career opportunities and more. They also are able to take some resources home with them to continue practicing and learning about cybersecurity.

The teachers attending the camps also receive hand-on learning and materials to take with them, such as multiple lesson plans that are classroom-ready, cybersecurity card games from CIAS that can be used to introduce concepts and engage students and a classroom’s-worth of cybersecurity career guides that will help their students explore opportunities in the field of security. They receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and the camps also prepare them to sit for a Cybersecurity Certification exam offered by the EC-Council, respected across industry to ensure a high standard of educational knowledge. Additionally, teachers are able to practice implementing lessons by learning and teaching them at the camps before doing so in their own classrooms.

“UCCS Cybersecurity Camps, funded either by a grant from the NSA or UCCS, offer a variety of resources that provide an engaging and memorable week in cybersecurity education,” said Mary Ann Tillman, Program Coordinator for Cybersecurity Programs. “The curricula provides a Watch One – Do One – Teach One approach that combines classroom teaching, hands-on exercises, and the ability to put the learned skills to use that drives greater retention and practical use.”

The camps are in high demand, with two additional ones added after the first filled up rapidly. They started after UCCS won a National Security Agency (NSA) grant in 2020, then held the first camps in 2021 and the second in 2022.

About Cybersecurity at UCCS

UCCS is a recognized cybersecurity education leader in the region, awarding hundreds of degrees each year in cybersecurity fields at bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. UCCS cybersecurity programs train security professionals who work to ensure the nation’s security, support faculty research and strategic cybersecurity partnerships with industry, government, military and academic institutions, including the U.S. Space Force and the National Cybersecurity Center.  Due to generous Colorado state funding of cybersecurity education, UCCS students are eligible for significant financial aid towards security degree scholarships. Learn more about Cybersecurity Programs at UCCS.