University of Maryland College Park will welcome more than 350 middle school students at the Cool Careers in Cybersecurity for Girls Workshop sponsored by Lockheed Martin, in partnership with the Maryland Cybersecurity Center and the National CyberWatch Center.
Hosted at the Riggs Alumni Center in College Park, Md., the Cool Careers in Cybersecurity for Girls Workshop will equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to help fill the professional pipeline in numerous fields including: cybersecurity, information assurance, as well as other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
“The Cool Careers in Cybersecurity for Girls Workshop significantly contributes to increasing the number of women in this critical field, which is one of the core goals of the education activities led by the Maryland Cybersecurity Center,” said Michel Cukier, associate director for education at the Maryland Cybersecurity Center and associate professor of reliability engineering at the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.
Throughout the day, students will have the opportunity to rotate to different stations and take part in hands-on activities ranging from solving identity theft cases of cybercrime, to penetration testing and cell phone forensics. Students will also be afforded the unique opportunity to learn about the numerous career options in cybersecurity from established women in the business and government officials throughout the state of Maryland.
“As the demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to grow for the foreseeable future, it is important to provide students with the necessary information to explore the exciting opportunities in the cybersecurity field,” said Chandra McMahon, Vice President of Commercial Markets and Cybersecurity at Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems and Global Solutions.
Research has shown that the representation of women in STEM-related fields falls behind their male colleagues; with middle school and high school girls in particular showing less interest and confidence in learning STEM. Events like the Cool Careers in Cybersecurity for Girls Workshop are essential in reversing this trend.
“The annual event was designed to attract and retain women in the STEM workforce and to address the growing demand for cybersecurity professionals in this geographic location,” shares Dr. Davina Pruitt-Mentle, Executive Director of ETPRO and the National CyberWatch Center K12 Division PI.