OMAHA, Neb. – Students and teachers from Nebraska and Iowa area high schools listen as Maj. Gen. William Grimsley, chief of staff, U.S. Strategic Command, provides opening remarks during the 2011 USSTRATCOM Cyber and Space Symposium cyber academic sessions Nov. 16.
OMAHA, Neb. - The 2011 U.S. Strategic Command Cyber and Space Symposium welcomed approximately 150 students and teachers from Nebraska and Iowa area high schools who participated in cyber and space related academic sessions Nov. 16 and 17.
Students and teachers from Bellevue East and West, Gretna, Hope, Marian, Gross Catholic, Lewis Central, Harlan, Creighton Prep, Chase County and Papillion-La Vista, were involved in the symposium as part of the J9 – Mission Analysis and Outreach Division's community outreach program.
"The basic premise was to invite high school students . . . to peak their interest in these fields and show them what the government is doing," said Dr. John Hudson, J9 intern program manager, and academic session organizer. "What was really exciting to me was when so many people started calling us to find out how to participate. "
Gen. William Grimsley, chief of staff, USSTRATCOM, greeted the high school guests during his opening remarks and explained how the symposium serves as an opportunity to expose future generations to a "dynamic world" of cyber and space capabilities in military, industrial, and domestic operations.
"You are by virtue of who you are, digital natives of the twenty-first century – people who are already involved in this [dynamic] world," the general said.
OMAHA, Neb. - Students and teachers from Nebraska and Iowa area high schools listen to a presentation during the 2011 U.S. Strategic Command Cyber and Space Symposium cyber academic session Nov. 16. Left to right: Dr. Matthew Schaefer, director of the space, cyber and telecom law program, University of Nebraska-Omaha; Dr. John Hudson, Mission Analysis and Outreach Division program manager, USSTRATCOM; and John Sleggs, director of business development, NARUS.
Following General Grimsley's remarks, a panel featuring Dr. Matthew Schaefer, director of the space, cyber and telecom law program, University of Nebraska-Omaha; and John Sleggs, director of business development, NARUS; each gave a presentation on cyber situational awareness and security issues. Students also engaged in a question and answer session after each panelist.
Vice Adm. Cecil Haney, deputy commander, USSTRATCOM, offered comments following the panelist's presentations, encouraging the students to ask questions to military personnel and vendors to further their knowledge base on symposium topics. He also emphasized the importance of their education to be successful.
"If I can only leave you with one thing, [have a] questioning attitude. I can't tell you how valuable that is, so practice it as often as you can because it's amazing how much you learn through those types of interactions. "
Spirits were high among the attendees as the session came to a close.
"I think that participation in the Cyber and Space Symposium was a terrific opportunity for our students in several ways. They had a chance to hear comments from experts in the field about issues facing our country and a chance to interact with these experts and ask questions," said Susan Hester, high ability learner facilitator, Bellevue Public Schools, Bellevue West student escort for the event. "All of this is an extension of their learning and a chance for them to see what is happening in the higher levels of technology, and to see what jobs are available and what path in school one might follow to someday hold those jobs . . . I believe access to events like this will help shape the academics and careers of many of these young people. "