The challenges in the cyber world keep increasing as the days pass. This is why the Center for Cybersecurity Research and Education (CCRE) at the University of Alabama is gearing up by preparing the Girl Scout Troop 708 with cybersecurity skills. The Girl Scouts will earn badges of Safeguard and Cybersecurity along with Investigator badges.
Sharon Johnson, the deputy director of CCRE said in an interview, “The Troop leader, Beth Crocker, told me about the cybersecurity badges and asked if I’d be willing to train them. So I developed the class materials and some hands-on exercises and quizzes using a list of topics provided by the Girl Scouts USA.”
The cybersecurity badges are going to be part of a new line that’s being introduced by CCRE to focus on STEM: science, technology, engineering, and math. The interesting part about the Troop 708 is that the decision was unanimous and was decided by the girls themselves. They had previously earned their first cybersecurity badge: Basics Judge. This has enabled them to go straight into the training for badges 2 and 3.
Johnson also mentioned that this isn’t the first time she’s been approached to train the younger audience about the precautions and protection of the cyberspace. Being a part of the CCRE’s Expanding Cybersecurity Innovative Incubator to Extended Demographics (ExCIITED) program, she’s worked with high school students building the required exposure to cybersecurity through STEM.