MEDIA RELEASE: Two Maine High School Students Named “National Cyber Scholars” After Winning Nationwide Competition to Identify Rising Stars in Critical Industry

30,000 Students Across the Country Sought to Qualify for this Cybersecurity Competition hosted by National Cyber Scholarship Foundation

The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation has named two Maine students, “National Cyber Scholars” after winning a rigorous 48-hour competition designed to evaluate aptitude in combating cyber threats, showcasing the advanced programming available in Maine schools.

Maine National Cyber Scholars:

  • Dena Arrison, Freeport High School
  • Vealy Lai, Maine School of Science and Mathematics

Over 30,000 high school students across the country sought to qualify for this year’s competition, and only 5,000 advanced to the first round. Of those students, only 600 nationwide performed well enough to earn the title “National Cyber Scholars.” These students each won a $2,500 scholarship and an invitation to participate in the Cyber Foundations Academy, a multi-week training and certification course.

Cybersecurity is a critical issue facing this country with the potential to impact our nation’s government, defense, communications and financial systems. According to recent studies, in order to properly defend our infrastructure from attack, we need to train more than 3 million cybersecurity professionals. This scholarship and competition are designed to attract and incentivize more students to enter the field.

“Congratulations to Dena and Vealy for this incredible honor! We are so proud of all the students that participated in this competition, and grateful for the schools who prepare, encourage, and support students in pursuing opportunities like this,” said Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin. “Our state education system continues to make strides that allow us to adapt and prioritize the ever-changing advances in technology, including laying the foundational groundwork for a robust cyber security workforce here in Maine.”

“This scholarship recognizes high school students who have demonstrated exceptional cybersecurity talent,” noted David Brown, executive director, National Cyber Scholarship Foundation. “The NCSF mission is to help close the critical cybersecurity skills gap by identifying and developing the next generation of cyber professionals. Each and every student who participated in this competition has the potential to develop their skills and build a successful career in cybersecurity.”

There are several qualification pathways for the National Cyber Scholarship Competition including CyberStart America, a free online program that helps students discover their interest in cybersecurity and develop their talent and skills. The NCSC offers 600 college scholarships to top-ranking competitors. Additionally, National Cyber Scholars, along with the competition’s 1,000 finalists, are invited to participate in the Cyber Foundations Academy.

To learn more visit: National Cyber Scholarship Foundation.

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Call for Proposals: Regional Computer Science Education Conference Hosted (virtually) in Maine! 

Are you a teacher who loves computer science and tries to weave it into everything you teach? Or maybe you’re still somewhat new to technology, but have developed an understanding throughout the past year? Share your progress and showcase your innovations in computer science education at this year’s Computer Science Teacher Association New England (CSTA NE) conference, hosted (virtually via Hopin) by our very own Maine CSTA chapter! 

The CSTA NE conference is a great opportunity to learn more about computer science education, connect with other computer science teachers, and hear perspectives from computer science teachers in other New England states. Sessions will be focused around innovation and will vary in both duration and topic. Session designs include: 15-minute flash talks, 30-minute topic discussions, and 60-minute sessions.  

To learn more about CSTA NE, click here 

To submit a session proposal, fill out this form by May 24th, 2021.  

If you’re not interested in presenting, but you’d like to attend the conferenceregistration to attend opens soon! Check back for updates. 

Registration is Now Open for the 18th Annual MLTI Student Conference

The Maine Department of Education is excited to share that registration for the 18th Annual MLTI student conference is open!

The conference will be held on May 20th, in virtual format, and it is FREE to Maine students in grades 4-12! The virtual student conference will be online on Thursday, May 20th from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM. The morning will be filled with interactive workshop sessions where students will be able to explore, engage, and create with exciting educational technology. The afternoon UBER session will be a collaborative design experience.

Since this is during a school day student registration must be coordinated by a teacher. Teachers are encouraged to organize student groups to attend the conference. Registration forms must include a teacher’s contact information, school, and student names.
For more information or to register please visit: https://www.maine.gov/doe/learning/ltt/conference

Registrations completed by Friday, May 7th will receive an early registration conference gift.

For questions please reach out Jordan Dean, Jordan.Dean@maine.gov.

Virtual Learning Sessions 3/18 & 3/31: Adaptive and Innovative use of Technology in Arts and Theater 

Join Maine Department of Education (DOE) specialists and a panel of Maine educators in two professional learning sessions that focus on the adaptive and innovative use of technology in arts and theater. These sessions are designed to be conversational, with educators from across the state sharing their challenges, successes, and takeaways. The first session focuses on theater and tech; the second session focuses on makerspaces and the arts.  These sessions are being held in recognition of “Arts Education in Our Schools Month,” celebrated statewide and recognized by Governor Janet T. Mills.

Session Descriptions and Details:

Theater & Tech – Performances
March 18th, 2021 at 3pm

Description: Join MDOE specialists and Maine theater and tech educators in a panel discussion on virtual theater performances. This session will include reflections on theater education over the past year, looking at successes, challenges, and innovative solutions. We will also talk a bit about the technology that aided in successful solutions to explore how the role of tech in theater changes in a virtual space.

To register for this sessionclick here or go to: https://www.maine.gov/doe/calendar/theater-tech-performances

Arts & Tech – Makerspaces
March 31st, 2021 at 2pm

Description: Join MDOE specialists and Maine arts and tech educators in a session on makerspaces. Whether you’re new to makerspaces or well-versed, this session has something to offer you. We’ll cover the basics of what a makerspace is, look at a few ways that local schools have integrated them into their building, and talk a bit about how makerspaces can be used in collaborative and innovative ways.

To register for this sessionclick here or go to: https://www.maine.gov/doe/calendar/arts-tech-makerspaces

For further information contact Maine DOE Visual and Performing Arts Specialist Jason Anderson at jason.anderson@maine.gov.

Revised Proposal Submission Dates: Call for Student and Educator Team Proposals: MLTI Student Conference

The MLTI Student Conference Planning Committee is issuing the call for student and educator team proposals for the 17th Annual MLTI Student Conference, to be held on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at the University of Maine in Orono.

Two important notes:

  1. Proposals are due much earlier this year! This will allow us to have a session list finalized by the time conference registration opens.
  2. Ideally, all proposals will have some form of student leadership incorporated. This could mean students will lead the whole session (with some adult support), students will serve as guides/coaches during the activity portion, or something in between. Students can co-present with teachers or other educators (including from community or business organizations).

Sessions will be one-hour long, must involve some form of creating, making, and doing, and should leave participants excited about what they learned and eager to share their experiences with others.

You can view examples of sessions from the 2019 MLTI Student Conference here.

Here’s the information you need to submit a proposal:

Conference Theme:  Maine’s Bicentennial Celebration

Possible Topics:  Proposals are not limited to the conference theme, and might include topics such as music, spoken word recording, coding, video production, graphic design, or writing and publishing your collection of short stories.

Device Requirements:  The student conference supports all MLTI devices, regardless of platform and encourages “platform-agnostic” sessions.

A Proposal Submission must include:

  1. The name of your school
  2. The title of your session
  3. List of all presenters

Important notes:

  • The $18 registration cost will be waived for up to two presenters. If you choose to have more presenters, you will need to pay the registration fee. Note that the Department has made every effort over the years to keep the cost of the conference low, however, as costs continue to rise, we have increased the registration fee by $3 this year and will raise it by $4 next year.
  • If your proposal is accepted, we ask that you register all presenters in a timely manner. The presenters do not count toward the school limit of 40 students during the registration process.
  1. A description of your session:
    • What skill will participants learn? How will you teach this?
    • What activity will participants engage in – what will they create?
    • What can participants expect to walk away knowing and being able to do?
  2. Materials to share in the conference registration form:
    • Short video advertisement of the session (less than a minute) Please submit Media Release forms for any student in the video.
    • Short description of the session (less than 200 words)
  1. Student leadership information:
    • How will student leaders be incorporated into the session?
    • How will they be empowered to succeed during preparation and during the day of the conference?
  2. Session requirements:
    • Level of expertise needed to participate fully (beginner, intermediate, expert)
    • The maximum number of participants you can accommodate (room sizes vary from 30-200)
    • Space set up requests (auditorium, tables/chairs, projector, speakers, etc.)
  3. Technology requirements:
    • A list of which platforms can be used in the session: (MacBook, iPad, ProBook, ElitePad, Chromebook, other)
    • Software and materials participants must have to participate (be specific)
  4. The name of the educator to be contacted about this proposal, and their email and phone number

Submit Proposals by 5 pm, Monday, January 27th, 2020 to this online form or copy and paste this URL into your browser http://bit.ly/MLTI-2020-session-entry. It is recommended that you type your answers in a separate document and then copy them into the form, so you can be sure to save your work.

Important Dates

  • Monday, November 4th, 2019 – Call for Proposals open and theme announced
  • Monday, January 27th, 2020 – Proposals due
  • Monday, February 10th, 2020 – Sessions selected
  • Friday, February 28th, 2020 – Sessions confirmed by presenters
  • Monday, March 2nd, 2020 – Sessions posted on DOE website
  • March 2nd, 2020: Registration open

Spread the word – if you know of someone doing fantastic work involving technology with making, doing, or storytelling please encourage them to submit a proposal or send an email with suggestions to MLTI.Project@maine.gov!

For more information or answers to questions, please visit the MLTI Student Conference page or contact the MLTI Student Conference Planning Committee at MLTI.Project@maine.gov.