In the battle for cyberspace, the U.S. needs as many well-trained, ethically responsible cyber security experts as possible. Gen Cyber, a summer camp jointly developed and supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Security Agency (NSA), introduces middle- and high-school students to the basics of cyber security, providing mentor ship and diverse role models and helping them form communities of young cyber security experts.Six camps, with a total of approximately 30 teachers and 265 students, participated in a pilot version of the program in 2014. This year, 29 universities in 19 states hosted 43 camps on their campuses. Completely free, they attracted 1,400 participants, half of whom were female--an impressive ratio given that women represent only 18 percent of computing students and 11 percent of cyber security professionals.
"Our vision for the GenCyber program is to be part of the solution to the nation's shortfall of skilled cybersecurity professionals," said Victor Piotrowski, a program director at NSF