The National Security Agency is supplying funding and guidelines for cyber security curriculum summer camps. It's called GenCyber and started in 2014, having grown substantially in size and scope over the years.


“It now consists of 102 camps across 38 states, with at least 140 camps expected in 45 states next year. Each runs five days, with additional sessions before and after.” (Bloomberg).


Because the camp runs in so many states, there are a lot of variations between the camps.


“‘My favorite part of GenCyber is that every program looks different because it is based on the local K–12 ecosystem. A GenCyber program in Northern Virginia is going to look a lot different than a GenCyber program in Iowa. Each institution must have certain pillars. We require that they base their curriculum on six principles: confidentiality, integrity, availability, defense in depth, thinking like an adversary and keeping it simple. We also require that they teach cyber ethics, and they must have at least one unit on careers.’ said Ashley Greeley, the K-12 project lead for GenCyber.” (Ed Tech Magazine).


The goal of the program is to fill the positions left vacant in cyber security professions.


“To date, more than 20,000 teenagers have attended. The Biden administration has said the US has a deficit of about 500,000 cybersecurity workers. The aim is to ignite enough interest in the field to begin reducing that.” (Bloomberg).


At the beginning of the program in 2014, there was an issue with gender, as it was majority male. Part of the goal was to bring more females into the field.


“Part of the program’s mission was to increase female and minority participation in the field, but the initial attendees were overwhelmingly male. GenCyber now offers boys and girls separate programs, resulting in better gender balance.” (Bloomberg).


The program has been highly successful in its goal of inspiring students to pursue careers in cyber security.


“For every seven participants who’ve graduated from high school, three go on to take at least one cybersecurity course at the college level, according to a 2020 evaluation of 7,160 over-18s who participated in the first five years of the program. A few former GenCyber attendees have gone on to work at the NSA, US Cyber Command, and the US Air Force, and many more have gone into the commercial cybersecurity industry.” (Bloomberg).


To learn more about GenCyber and where and when it is held, visit

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Ed Tech Magazine.