Learning cybersecurity from the Air Force

Created by the Air Force's Rome Research Site, a cybersecurity program is giving high schoolers an unprecedented education in cybersecurity and the benefits of an engineering career.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

In Rome NY, a catholic high school is piloting an innovative cybersecurity education program developed by the US Air Force. The program is scheduled to be rolled out across New York during the 2006-07 school year and nationwide by 2008, eSchool News reports.

The program teaches students about data protection, computer network protocols and vulnerabilities, security, firewalls and forensics, data hiding, and infrastructure and wireless security.

Most importantly, officials say, teachers discuss the ethical and legal considerations of cyber security.

"It's a great course. It's a little harder than I expected," said Catherine Gudaitis, a junior interested in theater. "But I know in the world I'm going to live in, this will be necessary information, even common knowledge."

The program is aimed not only at educating about security but also at exciting an interest in computer engineering and network security.

The pilot program was developed with help from computer experts at the U.S. Air Force's Research Lab in Rome, who four years ago created a 10-week long Advanced Course in Engineering Cyber Security Boot Camp for the military's Reserve Officers Training Corps, said Kamal Jabbour, the lab's principal computer engineer.

"Besides teaching teenagers to protect their digital assets, the course opens their imagination to the challenges in cyberspace and seeks to excite them into a college education in computer engineering and a professional career in cyber security," Jabbour said.

 Teacher education in the program will begin in August.



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