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Manitoba High Schools Cyber Defence Challenge

 

Seeking IT industry support for a very unique program that is planned to launch on September 19thand targeted at high school students in Manitoba.  The theme of the program is about building awareness in sciences, information, communications and technology amongst high school students - with a particular focus on developing cyber security skills.

 

About the Pilot Program

The program is called Cyber Defence Challenge. The pilot program is being coordinated through Mindset. It is part of a learning program that is being run with schools across the US and involves over 1,500 students. The students from Manitoba are the first international participants from Canada.

 

Special Events in Support of the Pilot Program

There are a couple of special events associated with this program:

  • A Cyber Security Awareness Event (with Microsoft and possibly Canada Public Safety) for October 17th - presented to schools (teachers) and invited industry guests. We are looking for additional industry speakers to contribute to the agenda that is being planned to provide a full day of information sharing, awareness building, and community networking opportunities.
  • A Cyber Defence Challenge competition featuring the schools and students that participated in the pilot program to be held sometime in mid-February. This would be an industry-sponsored event with (hopefully) some partial matching funds from Province and possibly the Feds to help support the competition. The goals of this competition are two-fold:
    1. To raise awareness of the program and the potential capability of the curriculum to industry and government in terms of how this contributes to building career awareness and skillswith high school students such that they may  consider the sciences, information, communications and technology (ICT) as potential career paths. Whether students decide to pursue additional post-secondary studies and careers directly in ICT, there is no doubt the skills that they gain from this program will enable them in ANY future career path opportunity they pursue.
    2. To raise funds to be able to send the winning teams (at least two teams of 5 students and a couple of teachers) to the National CyberNEXS™ Competition being held in Washington, D.C., at the end of March 2012. There is an opportunity that the students will be eligible to earn their way to the Fourth Annual Cyber Patriot Games competition being sponsored by the US Air Force Association in Washington at the end of March 2012. This would be the first time that an international team has been invited to this competition.

 

Your Support

There are three areas that are open for industry support and engagement:

  1. Participation in the form of providing technical support and mentors to the teachers. This would be on a volunteer basis and would be part of a support team. The time commitment would be divided amongst a team of technical support members on a best-efforts basis. In addition, there are opportunities open for anyone who may be interested in speaking to students in the classroom about career opportunities and on-the-job stories (i.e. day-in-the-life examples) of professionals engaged in the IT security field.
  2. Formal speakers who can speak on topics and provide relevant information focused on cyber security, cyber crime, security, forensics, etc. We are seeking these speakers for the seminar/workshop event being held on October 17th.
  3. Sponsorship ($ and/or in-kind contributions) directed to supporting the competition event and funding towards the expenses of sending the winning teams to attend the CyberPatriot Games IV in Washington, D.C. in March 2012. In return, vendors would have the opportunity to attend and showcase their company/services at the Cyber Defence High School competition event on Saturday, February 11th.  

 

For details, please contact Kerry Augustine (kerrya@mts.net) or Norm Lee (nlee35@shaw.ca).

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