We wanted to do it at S4x16, but couldn’t get it done. It’s going to happen at S4x17.

A South Florida High School Class will go through two days of hands on automation and security training with Matthew Luallen and the CybatiWorks kit, and then 12 of the students and their teacher will come to the Main Stage on Thursday to discuss the experience. They will hang around at lunchtime if you want to meet and talk to them.

Matthew Luallen deserves big thanks for first putting together the CybatiWorks kit and program, second working with the school we connected him with in Palm Beach, and third volunteering his time to perform the training. Digital Bond is purchasing six of the CybatiWorks kits for the course and will donate them to the high school after S4.

Our hope is that some of the S4x17 audience will be inspired by this and look for ways to improve on this effort and potentially develop something that is scalable. One of the larger challenges is if something like this is successful, meaning students learn from it and get excited about doing more of this type of learning and work, how do you make something like this available to 1,000 students? 1,000 students in each state? It’s more than just raising the money to buy the kits. It’s training and supporting the teachers. Developing courseware and likely a host of other items.

Marc Blackmer of Cisco, a Cabana Session Sponsor, is giving another important and related talk on the Sponsor Stage entitled: Mentoring for Fun and Non-Profit. He will talk about his experience in creating 1NTERRUPT, a free, non-profit cyber security program for students ages 14-22 that emphasizes creativity, community, and meritocracy. 1NTERRUPT is based in Worcester, MA, and now has chapters in San Francisco, Atlanta, and Portland.