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New partnership working to grow student interest in STEM, Cyber Security, and ICT

By 26 October 2017 No Comments

 

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), Opportunities NB (CyberNB Team) (ONB), and Education and Early Childhood Development New Brunswick (EECD) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on motivating students towards science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and cyber education as well as preparing them for the global economy, including working together to establish pathways for students interested in pursuing cyber security or ICT /STEM in their post-secondary education and careers.

Cyber security continues to be headline news. Privacy breaches, compromised data systems, and unauthorized access to corporate secrets are playing out in real life every day in Canada and globally. As a country, we need to prepare the next generation of students with skills necessary to protect our governments, industries, and individuals from this global threat while also providing pathways to promising careers.

ICTC, ONB and EECD will contribute their respective expertise, tools, research capabilities and networks to advance this shared goal. Students will become aware of, and engaged in, ICT/STEM and cyber security pathways through the established networks that ICTC, ONB, and EECD are affiliated with to build a new pathway that will bridge secondary school to post-secondary with a potential focus on cyber security. The parties are working to explore, plan, and promote joint events that promote STEM/ICT/Cyber security which would include CyberDays and CyberTitan, one of the key initiatives that will play a vital role in this relationship.

ONB and EECD are now officially National Program Ambassadors for ICTC’s CyberTitan Program- Canada’s Cyber Security Education Initiative for middle school and secondary school students. CyberTitan operates in affiliation with the (US) Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot Program – a comprehensive online cyber skills competition that scores students across North America in real time. This unique and engaging environment provides students immediate feedback on their level of cyber security comprehension and skill building. And, CyberTitan can be integrated into any technology-related course throughout the school year or delivered as an after-school or lunch program. ICTC, ONB, and EECD will be working together to make CyberTitan available in both official languages, allowing more students and mentors to engage in this program. For 2017-18, approximately 90 CyberTitan teams across Canada will compete to earn all-expense paid trip to ICTC’s very first CyberTitan National Finals where the best 10 teams across Canada will compete. We are excited to announce that our first national final will take place in Fredericton, New Brunswick in May 2018 in conjunction with ONB’s, CyberNB’s 2nd Annual CyberSmart Summit.

“We are delighted to partner with ONB, CyberNB and EECD as CyberTitan National Program Ambassadors. This partnership will allow us to continue to expand the knowledge and importance of cyber security skills for youth, and pave the way for Canada to be a world leader in cyber security.” –  Sandra Saric, National Director, CyberTitan and Vice President, Talent Innovation, ICTC.

ONB and EECD have played a dynamic role in the recruitment of 48 teams from New Brunswick to take part in CyberTitan this year. They also worked to cover the costs for CyberTitan teams to register broadening the opportunities for middle and secondary schools across New Brunswick to participate, including a few all-girls teams!

“A central focus of the CyberNB strategy is dedicated to skills and workforce development,” stated Allen Dillon, Managing Director, CyberNB. “With the global shortage of cybersecurity professionals expected to be 3.5 million by 2021, our strategy includes both short-term goals and long-term planning. This MOU with ICTC and EECD fits within our long-term goals and we very excited to be recognized as an Ambassador for ICTC.”

“One of the objectives of our 10-year education plans is to improve learning in, and application of, science, trades and technology for all learners,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Brian Kenny. “We understand it is critical that learners are engaged in hands-on experiences that require them to investigate real-life needs and problems. Our vision is for New Brunswick to become a world leader in cybersecurity and to get there we need a generation of students that understands the importance of cybersecurity and has a knowledge level and understanding of it.”

About ICTC

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit national centre of expertise for the digital economy. Through trusted research, innovative talent solutions, and practical policy advice, ICTC fosters innovative and globally competitive Canadian industries empowered by a talented and diverse digital workforce. CyberTitan – Canada’s Cyber Security Education Initiative – is offered by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) in affiliation with the (US) Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot Program which is presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation. https://www.ictc-ctic.ca/ www.cybertitan.ca

About ONB

Opportunities NB is a Crown corporation that seeks to attract and support opportunities to grow the economy and create jobs. It provides support services for businesses across the province.  CyberNB is a Special Operating Agency of Opportunities NB and is executing on a deliberate action-plan on cybersecurity to help create a safe and resilient internet for Canadians.  https://onbcanada.ca/  https://cybernb.ca/en/

About EECD

The government’s 10-year education plans aim to improve educational outcomes and better prepare young people for the future. They set objectives in priority areas to create lifelong learners, support educational leaders and bring stability to the system.

CONTACT

Information and Communications Technology Council – Stephanie Wilson, Director, Strategic Outreach 1- 613-850-1395 communications@ictc-ctic.ca

Opportunities NB – Carolyn McCormack, Director of Communications Phone: +1.506.453.5471 info@onbcanada.ca

Education and Early Childhood Development New Brunswick – Kelly Cormier, Communications Phone: +1.506.444.5395