Innovation Tech Academy is a non-for-profit with a mission to provide free cybersecurity courses, resources, and camps to middle and high school students from diverse populations in order to increase representation in this field.
Course Format: 100% online. Learn on your own time.
ITA also conducts in-person presentations and camps in the South Florida region covering various cybersecurity topics such as online safety, cyberbullying, digital footprint, and responsible and appropriate use of technology.
Innovation Tech Academy has received a GenCyber grant for the seond year in a row to host the CyberHoops Summer camp, which teaches South Florida middle and high school students the fundamentals of cybersecurity using an innovative Basketball approach. The camp is completely free and will take place in the Summer of 2024. The GenCyber grant is sponsored by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The GenCyber CyberHoops camp will be offered at a larger scale than the previous year. The camp will be available at three different school locations for 90 students. Camp time and locations TBD. Check back for updates on next years' camp location and dates.
Minorities comprise 26 percent of the cybersecurity workforce and only 21 percent of the overall workforce (ISACA, 2021), given that only 9% of cybersecurity experts are Black, about 8% are Asian and 4% are Hispanic (AspenDigital, 2021).Furthermore, the cybersecurity industry is heavily male-dominated. According to various reports, women comprise only about 24% of the cybersecurity workforce. (Simspace.com, 2023)
The main cause for this disparity is access to education and training followed by a lack of mentoring and role models (Forbes, 2022).
Innovation Tech Academy provides access to free education and resources as well as opportunities for mentoring and role models through our various programs in order to reduce the gap that exists.
The goal is to provide meaningful experiences in cybersecurity and technology at an early age in order to motivate students to pursue this area.
Our classes are created by University professors and credited teachers. The material of the courses were created for Middle School and High School students in mind as well as anyone wanting to obtain a basic understanding of cybersecurity.
> Innovation Tech Academy is focused on individualized curriculum and instruction where students progress at their own speed.
> Classes are conducted using an online platform that is centered on a project based learning model.
> The courses are structured along guided narrated powerpoints, short videos, infographs, and short online quizzes.
> Furthermore, students are engaged in course work through project based learning to augment critical thinking skills, problem solving, and innovative thinking.
At Innovation Tech Academy we motivate students to be creators.
Innovation Tech Academy is established as a 501(c)(3) non-for-profit organization.
First group of students register for online classes.
Cybersecurity and IoT courses are added to the online platform.
Gula Foundation Grant Finalist for $1m Grant #1 - Increasing African American Engagement in Cyber Security.
Received GenCyber grant to fund a free CyberHoops Summer Camp for Middle/High School Students in Miami.
Received GenCyber grant to fund three additional free CyberHoops Summer Camps for Summer 2024 in Miami.
Innovation Tech Academy particpates in Give Miami Day, a philantropic annual giving event supporting Miami nonprofits.
Reflections from students that participated in the 2023 Gencyber CyberHoops Summer camp.
I learned a lot about cybersecurity and how hackers can obtain my personal information but with this camp course it allowed me to be educated and learn to stay away from suspicious activity on the internet.
I have learned both about passwords and defense in depth. Firewalls and how they work. I learned how to use encryptions and keep a password manager. I like the encryption as I feel like it is a smart way to enhance a password such as something simple but it would turn it into something even I can't understand yet I can still translate it to something I can remember.
With the new skills and lessons I’ve learned, I’m now way more protected on the internet and make sure to never be unsafe and always use antivirus protection whenever I’m on sketchy website.
I've also learned about the different type of attacks that hackers can use and how scary it is on just how much they can achieve with such little information. Also how 500 viruses are made in a day and each of them can be put on your computer if you are not cautious but I've learned to be cautious.
I learned to enhance our device's security against viruses (e.g., phishing or fake updates, etc), a Defense in Depth approach is necessary. This involves implementing multiple layers of protection against malware, including the use of a Firewall on our computers and installing antivirus software like Norton.
I learned that to ensure the safety of our data, it is crucial to have a robust password and multiple layers of protection for our devices to combat malware.
I learned that to ensure data confidentiality, it is recommended that passwords utilize a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as symbols. For optimal security, passwords should be at least 12 to 15 characters long, as it can take up to 4000 years to encrypt a password of this length.
I’ve learned to also find alternative websites for things I’m searching for instead of a not trusted worthy website. In advance, I found this helpful and useful for now and will be useful later on!