Dartmouth College Helping to Train High School Students in Cybersecurity

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New advanced class offered as part of cyber summer sessions


March 27, 2018 – Dartmouth College will host a series of cybersecurity sessions for high school students from around the country this summer. The free sessions are supported by funding from GenCyber, a joint program of the National Security Agency and National Science Foundation dedicated to addressing the nation’s shortfall of skilled cybersecurity professionals. 

The GenCyber grant to Dartmouth’s Institute for Security, Technology & Society (ISTS) will allow students to attend one of two specialized, week-long sessions on cybersecurity taking place on Dartmouth’s campus. The courses, open to 25 students each, include an introductory program in cybersecurity from July 9 through July 13 and a new advanced program that runs from July 30 through August 3.

“The shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals is one of the biggest challenges facing our country today,” said William Nisen, associate director of ISTS. “Helping prepare the nation’s next generation of cybersecurity experts before they even enroll in college is not just a responsibility, it’s a priority.”

The sessions are designed as an opportunity for high school students of any experience level to explore current interdisciplinary research in cybersecurity and privacy. The courses focus on information-sharing technologies and the implications they have on society.

“GenCyber’s generous support of this program highlights the importance of cybersecurity to our nation’s future and underscores the vitality of the cybersecurity community around ISTS,” said Nisen.

While Dartmouth’s ISTS has hosted high school students for summer sessions on cybersecurity over the last eight years, this will be the first time that ISTS will offer an advanced-level course. The addition of the advanced course comes in response to demand from students that have expressed strong interest in strengthening their cyber skills.

The sessions will be led by Adam Goldstein, a former associate director for information security with Dartmouth’s campus-wide information and technology group. Goldstein has led previous GenCyber sessions and is currently an assistant professor of cybersecurity at Champlain College.

As part of the advanced class, students will be instructed on the principles of cybersecurity and related interdisciplinary concepts that guide security policy decision making. Participants in the introductory course will receive training on various concepts in computer security including cryptography, digital forensics, privacy and security awareness.

Both courses feature hands-on activities, interactive sessions, field trips and guest speakers. In keeping with the outreach mission of ISTS and the GenCyber program, students will also be asked to develop a post-workshop project of their own design to spread the word about cybersecurity.

“Not only do we want to train the students that join us on campus, it is equally important that GenCyber participants share information and skills when they go back to their local communities,” said Nisen.

In accordance with GenCyber guidelines, the sessions are open to all U.S. residents that are either enrolled in a U.S. high school or that are home-schooled. While the courses are free, participants are responsible for their own travel and lodging costs. The programs are non-residential, but some meals will be covered during the sessions.

The deadline for students to submit applications and teacher recommendations for the Dartmouth ISTS GenCyber summer session is April 15, 2018.