February 15, 2021 - 4:16 pm

Cyber Learn-a-Thon for High School Students and Their Parents

By 20Fathoms

20Fathoms and Newton’s Road have partnered to offer a free Cyber Learn-a-thon to Northwest Michigan high school students and their parents from Feb. 26 to Mar. 26, 2021. The course teaches how to protect personal data and privacy online and in social media and explores cyber trends, threats and staying safe in cyberspace.

In addition to the self-paced course which takes approximately 15 hours to complete, student participants can attend a panel of local educators and professionals teaching and using cybersecurity skills. They will learn about related education pathways, types of cybersecurity careers, and future employment opportunities in our 5-county region. The panelists include Collin O’Brien from Traverse Bay Intermediate School District (TBAISD), Scott Goethals from Northwestern Michigan College (NMC), Jeff Mertz from Safety Net, and Salina Olmsted from Munson Healthcare. tccyber and Cisco Networking Academy instructor Cyndi Millns, a nationally recognized Michigan cyber instructor, is facilitating the course and panel.

Newton’s Road Executive Director Barb Termaat is excited to see the turnout for the course, the first time Newton’s Road is experimenting with this approach to grow career awareness and related skills development. Barb states: “Living in an increasingly digital world, it is imperative that we all develop the skills to keep our personal data private and communicate securely. On the flip side of this trend, cybersecurity careers are growing 2-3 times faster than the average career, and offer exciting career opportunities that pay very well!”

Students ages 14 and older are eligible to participate in the course, and their parents are encouraged to register and take the class with them. Local students who complete the course with a 70% or better score on the final assessment will be entered into a raffle to win Hacker, a cybersecurity logic game. Students need to register with their school email in order to be eligible for the prize, or email and include your age, county of residence, and email address used to register for the course.

All course participants (including parents) in the Cyber Learn-A-Thon who successfully complete the course will be awarded a Cisco Networking Academy Introduction to Cybersecurity digital badge to add to your LinkedIn and other profiles. According to Cisco Networking Academy, “As people become increasingly dependent on networks to store their personal, financial, and business data, there’s greater incentive for cybercriminals to steal or manipulate that data. The world needs people who are trained to proactively mitigate and address these threats.”

Newton’s Road is proud to partner with 20Fathoms to help local youth explore “hot” career opportunities such as cybersecurity in a learn-a-thon format in Northwest Michigan.