Last November, we announced the $2 million expansion of the Louisiana-funded CYBER.ORG Range through Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA)’s Cybersecurity Education and Training Assistance Program (CETAP) grant. Alongside Jen Easterly, Director of CISA, and Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, we committed to growing the cyber workforce pipeline and closing the shortfall of 750,000 cybersecurity professionals nationwide.
How the CYBER.ORG Range is Empowering K-12 Educators Nationwide to Train Students for the Cyber Workforce
The new year is in full swing, and we’ve kicked off 2023 with a renewed focus on improving access to K-12 cybersecurity education and cybersecurity careers. At CYBER.ORG, we’re incredibly proud of the tools we’ve built that are empowering educators nationwide to train students to become the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
The CYBER.ORG Range is a Cyber Innovation Center initiative that provides K-12 educators and students with a no-cost, safe, virtual environment to learn cybersecurity skills. Designed to teach cybersecurity basics, the Range teaches students how to launch offensive and defensive attacks in two different settings.
Since its launch, the Range has been deployed in 48 states at 400 schools by over 700 K-12 educators.
The CYBER.ORG Range is bringing cybersecurity education and the possibility of cybersecurity careers to all students, regardless of their zip code or socioeconomic background. Bringing technical, engaging cybersecurity programming to classrooms nationwide has energized students to learn cybersecurity.
The CYBER.ORG Range has been lauded by educators. An educator in Illinois shared:
“Our students love using CYBER.ORG’s environment. We are a rural school and socio-economically, many of our students are very poor. One of my cybersecurity students does not have Wi-Fi at home, but when he is at school, he is on the CYBER.ORG Range when he has downtime in other classes. He likes using Linux, which he has never used before, and he has indicated an interest in programming in college. In fact, he was not going to take the SAT and I think I have convinced him to do so. Additionally, we had a Navy recruiter at our school last week and he sat and spoke one-on-one with this student about the Navy’s Cyber Command. The recruiter was impressed we were using Linux since the Navy uses it on many of their systems. So, it is possible this student goes into the Navy. Either way, our use of the CYBER.ORG Range and CYBER.ORG environment has given him an opportunity he might not have otherwise had.”
We are thrilled by the success of this program so far, which has been made possible with the support of CISA, Director Easterly, Governor John Bel Edwards, and the state of Louisiana. We’re eager to see continued usage growth of the CYBER.ORG Range and look forward to continuing to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in cybersecurity through accessible programming in 2023 and beyond.
For more information about the CYBER.ORG Range, visit https://cyber.org/range or email firstname.lastname@example.org.