High School Students To Explore National Security Challenges in Hands-On Summer Institute

High school students intrigued by the global security challenges facing America and the rest of the world today will be able to explore those issues in an intensive hands on summer experience July 19-22 at Westminster College in Fulton, MO.

The Westminster Institute for National Security is a two-day, three night security program that focuses on four different areas of study and is being coordinated by Dr. Tobias Gibson, Associate Professor of Political Science.

“Westminster College has developed the Westminster Institute for National Security in an effort to teach and train high school students who are interested in homeland, national and international security issues,” says Dr. Gibson.  “Helping students build historical, political, ethical and cultural context within the security nexus is a key role of this Institute.”

The program is targeted for rising high school juniors and seniors.

Through analysis, discussion, debate, problem-solving and role-playing activities, students will gain knowledge and an expert perspective on each area.

In one session students will examine the causes and consequences of 9/11—the policy decisions made after the attacks and what impact that event has had on our domestic politics, culture and society.

In a look at how America dealt with the human rights abuses during the war, students will play different roles in a conflict resolution simulation which emphasizes making decisions about how to balance demands for justice and reconciliation.

A third session will ask students to choose from a variety of interactive activities to explore cybersecurity.  They will create a cybersecurity context map and identify breaches; encrypt data and crack code; investigate computer forensics; and discover how to protect their own data.

Recently, Westminster has renovated the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology computer labs to create a cybersecurity computer lab, a dedicated space detached from the rest of the campus network.  This lab will provide students in the program the necessary space to explore security issues, defend against simulated hackers and utilize computer security and forensic tools.

Students in this summer program will also learn about the Advanced Technical Intelligence Center.  Its mission is to develop a workforce of appropriately cleared government and contractor personnel capable of generating actionable information from technical intelligence systems.

Westminster College is one of a select group of colleges and universities with an established partnership with the Center.

During the evenings the group will expand on the day’s issues in small group discussions and analysis of terrorism represented in popular movies.

“As our nation develops policies and continues to face varied threats from within and beyond our borders, we believe that helping current high school students and future security professionals to understand the complexities of the issues facing our nation and world is a necessary component to securing the United States,” says Dr. Gibson.

For more information or to register, visit www.westminster-mo.edu/go/wins, email WINS@westminster-mo.edu, or contact Dr. Tobias Gibson at 573-592-5185.

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