About 175 students from across northern California participated in virtual summer cyber camps organized by the ICT-Hub, Lassen College, Butte College, Mendocino College, Cosumnes River College, Sac City College, and Square Root Academy, where they received instruction from both community college faculty and students — something ICT-DM Regional Director Wendy Porter calls the “magic model.”
“This was an amazing opportunity for K12 students to explore tech education and for our Community College Students to get experience mentoring and to further their knowledge in cybersecurity,” Porter said.
Porter worked with the ICT-Hub and Irvin Lemus, Regional Coordinator for Bay Area Cyber Competitions, to introduce a new format for this year’s camps. Students enjoyed the experience, even though they might have been skeptical of the virtual environment at first.
“I thought learning Python and how information was communicated across the internet was useful and valuable,” one student said. “They were quite interesting subjects that I would like to know even more about.”
Another student commented, “I really enjoyed this introduction to cybersecurity. At first, I had my doubts, but it turned out to be a fun learning experience.”
The camps are part of NorCal Cyber, a larger effort to expand cybersecurity career pathways across the region.
“The North Far North ICT-Hub launched NorCal Cyber this summer to help bring cyber education, camps, and competitions to our K-12 students in order to increase the pipeline of tech students into our Community College programs,” Porter said. “This was a regional effort with participation and sponsorship from all over northern California.”
Porter said the summer camps also helped connect Lassen College with high school IT instructor Malinda Duerksen, who will now help the college launch a Google IT Support Professional Certificate program. This is a great connection in the region, which sometimes struggles to find technology faculty, and students will benefit from the partnership.
The North-Far North ICT-Hub is coordinated by the Sacramento County Office of Education and funded through K12 Strong Workforce funds with support from the California Community Colleges. Chicostart and Stratti also provided financial support for the camps. To learn more about the region’s cybersecurity activities, contact Wendy Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org.