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McKendree University

Midwest Cyber Center hosts AFA CyberCamp in Partnership with McKendree University

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Scott Air Force Base, IL – Midwest Cyber Center was one of the distinguished organizations across the United States selected to participate in the fourth season of the Air Force Association’s (AFA) CyberCamp Program this summer.

As an AFA CyberCamp host, MC² received software and a hands-on curriculum kit designed to teach students cyber safety, cyber ethics, and critical network security skills and tools. Each AFA CyberCamp culminates in an exciting team-based competition that puts the campers in the role of IT administrators tasked with finding and addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated network environments. The local AFA CyberCamp competitions will closely mimic AFA’s annual CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, which will enter its eleventh season in October.

More than 120 students participated in the AFA CyberCamp at McKendree University, which was held June 25 to June 29, led by volunteer cyber advisors from Eagle Technology, Aegis Strategies, Build-a-Bear, Emerson, 375th Comm Sq, 835th COS and 837th COS and supported by MC². The event was sponsored by Scott Credit Union who provided shirts for each participant. Rodney McGee, one of the volunteers from Eagle TG, stated “Volunteering at the camp was a great experience and the entire organization exhibits the meaning of ……Team Work Makes The Dream work.”

This is the third year MC² has brought AFA Cyber Camps to Southwestern Illinois. This is the second time partnering with McKendree, and both partners anticipating growing on the success of the event and hosting a camp again in 2019. McKendree recognizes that cybersecurity is more important than ever, said Daryl Hancock. Whether at home, work or school, modern technology impacts almost every aspect of our lives, and CyberPatriot teaches this cyber knowledge through education, teamwork and competition. Cybersecurity requires education, and that makes McKendree University a proud supporter of CyberPatriot. Hancock is the Chief of Staff at McKendree and a former military intelligence officer with broad cyber experience. 

The CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program was created by the Air Force Association in 2009 to attract students to c​ybersecurity and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future. CyberPatriot is an amazing program which offers a robust curriculum and challenges for students to learn the basics of cybersecurity, stated Tony Bryan, Executive Director of MC². We are proud to lead the regional efforts for CyberPatriot and will continue to promote and advocate for the program’s success.

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