A cybersecurity club may sound challenging, especially for a non-technical teacher. However, CyberPatriot.org has provided the resources to teach kids about cybersecurity and a forum for students to compete with other schools from all over the country.
They provide courses through Cisco and practice images where students can check for vulnerabilities in the systems.
This is how it works.
- 1. Make sure you have a computer lab or laptops with the correct specifications.
- 2. Start recruiting student to join the team in March. You may need an application process as starting a team for the 1st time, you want a manageable amount of students to work with. Once you have your team(s), register your teams through https://www.uscyberpatriot.org/. Each team can have 6 participants. You do not have to name the students in each team until September. But remember, you must name the students in each team by October 1st. After that day, you cannot add participants. It is $165 for each Middle school team and $205 for each high school team. An all-girl team is free.
- 3. Coach completes the training modules. They are fairly, simple step by step directions to follow, using Google Slides. http://www.uscyberpatriot.org/competition/training-materials/training-modules
- 4. It will ask you to create an account through Netacad.com. There are 2 courses on Netacad which will assist you. CyberPatriot Content and Packet Tracer 7.2 courses. Add your students to the courses and they can work on the courses. It is optional. My students did not complete or even start the courses and we were still able to do well in the competitions. However, future competition these classes are valuable.
- 5. CyberPatriot provides practice rounds with answer keys for students to get ready for the competitions. CyberPatriot will email you the images to install on the computers and then the password to extract the images. You have 1 week to work on the images. It keeps score for you as well. Students will hear a Mario Brothers song when they gain points.
- 6. Competitions follow a similar process. CyberPatriot emails the links to the images. You download the images on the computers. They give you the password Friday morning, and you get to choose whether you want to compete on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. The nice thing is, you don’t have to travel anywhere for the competitions! ☺
We meet every Tuesday and sometimes Thursdays (closer to competition days) throughout the school year. Students can also compete in exhibitions rounds July 17-Aug 16, but I have not yet tried this as we just started the club in September. Here is a timeline from uscyberpatriot.org https://www.uscyberpatriot.org/competition/competition-timeline
Natalie Daversa: Natalie teaches pre-engineering at Oxford Middle School utilizing CAD and a 3d printer. She also teaches technology and business classes through Oxford’s Virtual Academy in Oxford, Michigan. This year she started a Cybersecurity Team for the Middle School and High School. She can be reached at .