GenCyber Teacher Camp logoUniversity of Maryland Global Campus is hosting a virtual GenCyber 2021 Teacher Camp for local high school teachers who are interested in incorporating cybersecurity into their curriculum. The goal of the weeklong intensive program, which takes place July 26–30, is to help teachers improve their methods of delivery for cybersecurity content in their high school curricula.

The application window for this event has closed.

About the GenCyber 2021 Teacher Camp

When: Monday, July 26–Friday, July 30, 2021, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. each day (with pre- and post-camp activities)

Where: Online via Zoom

Teachers must have synchronous virtual meeting technology capabilities for the entire week.

Camp participants will receive

  • Cybersecurity training relevant to grades 9–12

  • Cybersecurity curriculum development support

  • Curriculum resources to take back to the classroom

  • A $1,300 stipend for full program participation

  • Certificate of Completion

Before You Apply: Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply for this program, you must

  • Currently be a teacher in a public, private, or charter high school in Maryland or the surrounding National Capital area

  • Be able to participate for the full week of camp

How to Apply

Submit the GenCyber 2021 Teacher Camp application form and supporting documentation. Toward the end of the application form, you will be prompted to provide any supporting documents.

Required Essay

Essay (250–500 words, typed and double-spaced) or a video (1–2 minutes) containing responses to the following prompts:

  • Tell us why you should be chosen to receive this GenCyber opportunity and what makes you stand out from your peers.
  • Describe any contributions to the cybersecurity field, e.g., volunteer work or articles, and any other cyber-related hobbies or extracurricular activities you enjoy, and what they mean to you.
  • Summarize how you would incorporate cybersecurity concepts into the courses you teach.

Optional Supporting Documentation

  • Letters of recommendation from a school principal, assistant principal, or department head, or a personal reference (could be from a student)

  • Latest school transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable)

Submit all required information on the application form by the deadline of June 21, 2021.

How to Save Your File

Combine your files into one PDF. Name the file gencyber-application-lastname.pdf. The file should be no larger than 16 MB, because you will need to upload it to the GenCyber application form.

If you have chosen to use a video in place of the essay, please type the link to your video and include that in your PDF.

Please note: If accepted, you may be required to submit additional information.

Application Review Process

Once you submit the application, your complete application package will be reviewed by a committee from the K–12 community and UMGC. If you are selected for admission to the program, you will be notified within three weeks after the application deadline.

Additional Information About the Program

The GenCyber 2021 Teacher Camp at UMGC is hosted by the UMGC Center for Security Studies and sponsored by the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation.

The program is designed to help meet the following student-focused goals:

  • Increase student interest in cybersecurity careers

  • Reach a large, diverse group of students

  • Teach safe online behaviors and strategies for good digital citizenship

Frequently Asked Questions: GenCyber

What is the GenCyber Program? +

The GenCyber program provides summer cybersecurity camp experiences for students and teachers at the K–12 level. The goals of the GenCyber program are to

  • Ignite, sustain, and increase awareness of K–12 cybersecurity content and cybersecurity postsecondary and career opportunities for participants through year-round engagement;

  • Increase student diversity in cybersecurity college and career readiness pathways at the K–12 level; and

  • Facilitate teacher readiness within a teacher learning community to learn, develop, and deliver cybersecurity content for the K–12 classroom in collaboration with other nationwide initiatives.

The GenCyber program strives to be a part of the solution to the nation’s shortfall of skilled cybersecurity professionals. Ensuring that enough young people are inspired to utilize their talents in cybersecurity is critical to the future of our country’s national and economic security as we become even more reliant on cyber-based technology in every aspect of our daily lives.

To ensure a level playing field, GenCyber camps are open to all student and teacher participants at no cost. Funding is provided by the National Security Agency.

Grant Authority: CFDA 12.903 GenCyber Grants Program

Who attends GenCyber camps? +

Camps are designed for either students or teachers. UMGC is holding a Teacher Camp only for 2021. Eligible teachers are high school teachers in grades 9–12 in Maryland or the National Capital area. This camp is geared toward technology teachers or teachers with technical experience who can incorporate cybersecurity into their curriculum.

Who funds the program? +

To date, funding has been provided by the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation.

Why is NSA interested in the development of Cyber at the K–12 level? +

The supply of cybersecurity professionals has fallen far short of demand, with some studies estimating the gap being as large as 600,000+ professionals needed to meet the Nation’s demand. NSA hopes to turn this around.

In addition, cybersecurity is rarely taught in schools even within computer science classes. NSA hopes to help change that by spurring best practices in cybersecurity pedagogy across content areas and development of curricula and lesson plans that can be used to infuse cybersecurity principles across many subject areas.

Cybersecurity is vital to the future of the United States, not just at the government level, but also at the industrial, economic, academic, and personal levels as well. It is critical that young students have a basic understanding of cybersecurity so that as they learn through their schooling and personal experiences, they can see how cybersecurity impacts all aspects of their lives, be it through social media, economic situations, or physical devices.

Our country is entering an era where it is likely that numerous household items, personal computing devices, and business systems will be connected to the Internet of Things. In this rapidly evolving technology environment, everyone needs to be cognizant of cybersecurity. Whether you are a NSA analyst, an accountant, an electrician, or a stay-at-home mom or dad, these devices will become increasingly important in our lives. We need both broad awareness of cybersecurity in the general population and experts in the field who can identify and mitigate vulnerabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions: Teacher Camp 2021

What out-of-pocket expenses will the program require? +

The 2021 camp will be virtual, so we do not anticipate participants having any out-of-pocket expenses. Participants will receive curriculum resources at no cost and will receive a $1,300 stipend upon camp completion. Please see technical requirements; those equipment costs are not covered.

I am very interested in the GenCyber teacher camp, but I cannot attend on certain days. Can I still apply? +

Currently, we are accepting applications only for participants who can attend the entire virtual camp. The camp is anticipated to run for one week from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day. Some homework may be assigned.

How will the applications be reviewed? +

Applicants who do not submit a complete application package will not be considered. Please apply by June 21, 2021; decisions are expected to be announced by July 4, 2021. Space is limited to 25 participants. UMGC program directors and collegiate professors and K–12 teachers associated with this GenCyber Teacher Camp will evaluate the applicants based on the merit of their essay question answers (written or video), full camp time commitment, supporting documents, and general ability to incorporate cybersecurity curriculum into their classes. Special consideration may be given in order to have appropriate representation from all Maryland counties. Decisions of the review committee are final.

At which UMGC campus will the camp be offered? +

The camp will be offered virtually using the Zoom platform. Class sessions will be both synchronous and asynchronous depending on the activity.

What is the camp schedule? +

The daily schedule is 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. The camp runs on the following days: July 26 through July 30, 2021.

What is the application due date? +

All teacher applications must be received by UMGC by Monday, June 21, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EDT. See the application preparation instructions for details on the submission of applications. Applications submitted in the wrong format, using wrong forms, or missing required items will be deemed incomplete and will not be considered for participation in the camp. Applications received after June 21, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EDT will not be considered.

What are the eligibility requirements? +

To be eligible to apply for the Teacher Camp program, you must

  • Currently be a high school teacher in a public, private, or charter high school in Maryland or the National Capital area

  • Be able to virtually participate for the full week of camp

  • Provide your own reliable technology and wi-fi access to Zoom meetings and virtual labs

What if I want to submit a video rather than the essay questions? +

You can submit your application with a .pdf file that includes the link to your video. Or, you can email your video information to gencyber@umgc.edu before to the deadline listed above.

What if I am not currently teaching in a high school in Maryland or the National Capital area? +

Currently, we are accepting applications only from local teachers. Special consideration may be given in order to have appropriate representation from all Maryland counties.

What type of curriculum will UMGC offer at the camp? +

The GenCyber 2021 Teacher Camp at UMGC will focus on the six Cyber Concepts identified by the grant:

  1. Defense-in-Depth

  2. Confidentiality

  3. Integrity

  4. Availability

  5. Think Like an Adversary

  6. Keep it Simple

The curriculum is designed for high school teachers to take back to their classrooms and provide a fundamental understanding of cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, and controls that apply to all organizations and individuals. We will lecture virtually and use hands-on lab exercises to address common topics, including cryptography, access control and authentication, web security, cybersecurity analytics, and human aspects of cybersecurity.

Who can write reference letters on my behalf? +

The reference letters are optional to support your application. You can use any of the following:

  • A letter of reference from your current school principal or department head on official letterhead.

  • A letter of reference from a current or former employer, student, or former supervisor who is fully knowledgeable of your potential for successful learning and applicability of what you learn in your future classes.

How will I submit my original transcripts? +

If selected for the program, you will be instructed on transcript requirements.

What are the technology requirements for the camp? +

Because the GenCyber 2021 program is virtual, it is highly recommended that you use a computer with the specifications below. The better your computer will perform, the smoother your experience will be.

  • Microphone and speakers or headset with microphone or equivalent device(s)

  • 5 GB (gigabytes) of free hard drive space

  • 2 GB RAM or higher

  • A high-speed internet connection

  • The computer processor (Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64) running at speeds of at least 1 GHz

  • Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.6 or higher for an operating system (Linux operating systems can also be used but require more technical knowledge from the user.)