COLUMBIA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MISI, a cybersecurity nonprofit driving small business and academic engagement, STEM and workforce development opportunities, and proof of concept innovation, is proud to have hosted 100 students from Patuxent Valley Middle School for an educational field trip about cybersecurity. The students were participating in a GenCyber Camp, a free program financially supported by the National Security Agency, the National Science Foundation and other federal partners on an annual basis.
The goals of GenCyber programs align well with the STEM and educational elements of MISI’s mission, such as increasing the availability of cybersecurity content for K-12 classrooms, equipping teachers with the essential skills to understand and deliver that content to students, raising awareness of cybersecurity career opportunities, and increasing student diversity in cybersecurity college and career readiness pathways. During the June 2023 DreamPort field trip for Patuxent Valley Middle School, students experienced Cyber Quest, the MISI future cyber warrior experience.
Cyber Quest is MISI’s latest STEM initiative designed to bring the world of cybersecurity to kids. In collaboration with GenCyber, local schools and other organizations, MISI’s Cyber Quest events present immersive and interactive cybersecurity activities to inspire and educate the next generation of cyber warriors. For each Cyber Quest event, a team of MISI subject matter experts and experienced engineers develop a custom playbook of scenarios for students to work through, giving them firsthand experience and new insights into the cybersecurity landscape.
“One of MISI’s key pillars of focus as an organization is STEM and workforce development. We are thrilled to offer the Cyber Quest experience to K-12 students, which we hope will ignite their curiosity and lead to a new passion for cybersecurity while they gain practical skills,” said Karissa Seckman, Vice President of Operations, MISI. “We are constantly working on innovative solutions to help solve the nation’s shortfall of skilled cybersecurity professionals, and MISI firmly believes that initiatives like Cyber Quest that nurture the future workforce are critical.”
The latest Cyber Quest event featured four scenarios focused on different elements of cybersecurity: password cracking, identifying risks such as vulnerabilities, threats and attacks, data collection and management, and access control. Each scenario featured lessons and games that taught students critical skills for evaluating different online activities. For example, how to make strong passwords and where to store them, when to click a link or make an account on a website, the potential for being tracked by a company through facial recognition, etc. Students were even presented with an exercise that explored how Industrial Control Systems (ICS) infrastructure work and various security risks to those systems.
To stay up to date on future MISI events and potential sponsorship opportunities, sign up for the MISI newsletter. If you are interested in organizing your own Cyber Quest event with MISI, contact us here.
MISI is a cybersecurity nonprofit fueling the people and technology needed to solve critical cybersecurity challenges. MISI’s three pillars of focus include: small business and academic engagement, STEM and workforce development, and proof of concept innovation. Through collaboration with small businesses, academic researchers and non-traditional members of the cybersecurity community, MISI serves as an intermediary and helps connect U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and the U.S. government to the innovative products and solutions needed to advance the nation’s cybersecurity capabilities.
MISI operates programs out of MISI facilities, including two nationally acclaimed Cyber Mission Accelerators with over 100,000 square feet of space: DreamPort and MindScape. DreamPort was created in partnership with US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) as a non-government owned or operated independent facility to provide cyber national mission forces and partners with continuous innovation in cyber capabilities.
Visit https://misi.tech/ to learn more.