DSU takes e-education program to all nine reservations in South Dakota

Dakota State University offers its CybHER program in South Dakota’s nine tribal nations to teach coding, robotics, online safety, and cyber concepts to students on reservations.

The program is intended to address “digital divide” issues, which the MoU defines as a lack of access to technology and issues related to knowledge and use.

Bringing the program to the nine reservations is made possible by a $27,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation, DSU said in a statement.

CybHER was established in 2013 and has taught cybersecurity topics to a variety of age levels. The program has reached more than 33,000 students from K-12 to college age and beyond.

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“There is a disconnect between how students and the community perceive cybersecurity and what it actually is,” said Kanthi Narukonda, DSU graduate student in cyber defense and chief operating officer for CybHER. “By bringing cybersecurity education and awareness to youth on all nine reservations, we aim to dispel misconceptions about cybersecurity and also educate students and the community about online safety and robotics.”

For this project, CybHER will work with boys’ and girls’ clubs near all nine reservations in South Dakota, and DSU students will visit each club over the next year, teaching the basics of coding and cybersecurity. They will also help caregivers understand and mitigate cyber threats.

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Additionally, they will leave resources on CybHER Conversations, a bi-monthly national virtual event that features an interview with a high-performing cybersecurity professional to help students understand different careers in cybersecurity.

CybHER will reserve spots for 10 girls to attend the GenCyber ​​Girls CybHER Camp 2022. This free annual camp is an opportunity for middle school girls to spend a week at DSU learning about cybersecurity. This year’s camp takes place the week of June 19th.

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