U.S. Space & Rocket Center gets $10M grant for cyber camp

Updated: Aug. 22, 2017 at 10:06 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - On Tuesday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced a $10 million economic development gr ant to expand the campus at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and establish a U.S. Cyber Camp for high school students.

The cyber camp is being developed now between the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Cyber Huntsville, a cybersecurity industry group.

The inaugural U.S. Cyber Camp was held in July 2017 and included 32 Alabama students from across Alabama. With this new state funding, more programs are being planned to develop the cyber camp curriculum for students across Alabama. The curriculum for the first camp covered the basics of computer science, ethics of computer use and hacking, network security, programming and coding, encryption, systems engineering, and applications of cybersecurity in technology.

U.S. Cyber Camp will target Alabama's awareness of careers and degrees in cybersecurity, and as an extension of the Space Camp model, build leadership and team-building skills and increase students' confidence and performance in math and science.

The U.S. Army, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, National Security Agency and NASA are interested in participating in U.S. Cyber Camp, according to a spokesperson with the Rocket Center.

Ivey said expanding the program at the biggest tourist attraction in Alabama is a "logical investment" for the state.

Multiple state leaders and politicians spoke at the Space & Rocket Center on Tuesday. One was Ivey herself.

"Not only Huntsville, but all of Alabama, is on the forefront of aerospace innovation and protecting our nation, a fact attributable in part to the work done here at the Space & Rocket Center," she said.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle was there too.

"We are developing an industry that is a fledgling industry but has now become a multibillion dollar industry. And today, Huntsville, north Alabama and the whole state takes part in that," Battle said.

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