Students, educators glimpse the future of cybersecurity at Rowan camps

Students, educators glimpse the future of cybersecurity at Rowan camps


In an increasingly digital world, two camps held this summer at Rowan University helped encourage high-school students and educators to think about the future of cybersecurity.

Rowan University professor teaches high school students about cybersecurityGenCyber, for students, and Rowan’s Interactive Summer Cyber (RISC), for high-school educators, provided five days of training and hands-on activities. The camps, sponsored by Rowan’s Department of Computer Science, introduced the fundamentals of cybersecurity and the Internet of Things (IoT) to attendees, said Vahid Heydari, an assistant professor of Computer Science and one of the camp’s organizers. The concept of the Internet of Things explores the interconnection via the internet of everyday items such as security systems and appliances.

Twenty students and 20 educators from the Philadelphia region attended each camp. The camps were funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation and supported by the National Security Agency.

Rowan University professor provides high school teachers with tips for teaching cybersecurity in their classroomsParticipants in GenCyber learned about a variety of cybersecurity-related careers, while educators who attended RISC were provided with teaching materials they could bring back to their own classrooms, Heydari said. After attending the camp, some of the teachers hoped to create cybersecurity classes at their schools, he said.

All the activities at the camps were designed so they could be reproduced in a high-school classroom, Heydari said. At the end of both camps, participants were provided with binders containing hard copies of all the materials used during the camps. They will also have access to updated resources online, Heydari said.

And the discussions about cybersecurity that started in the camps will continue, he said. An online chatroom will allow camp participants to share ideas, and projects will be posted for them to complete independently.

Heydari plans to have all the camp participants return to Rowan in December for a one-day workshop to share the results of their work on the projects.