The Challenger Learning Center is one of the distinguished organizations across the United States selected to participate in the second season of the Air Force Association's (AFA) CyberCamp Program this summer.


As an AFA CyberCamp host, the Challenger Learning Center and Purdue Northwest's Department of Computer Information Technology and Graphics (CITG) will receive software and a hands-on curriculum kit designed to teach students cyber safety, cyber ethics, and critical network security skills and tools. Each AFA CyberCamp will culminate in an exciting team-based competition that puts the campers in the role of IT administrators tasked with finding and addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated network environments. The local AFA CyberCamp competitions will closely mimic AFA's annual CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, which will enter its ninth season in October.


CyberCamp, will be held July 18 to July 22nd and taught by faculty and staff from both the Challenger Learning Center and PNW's CITG department.


When asked about the motivation for offering this camp, Rebecca Manis, Director of the Challenger Learning Center said, "We are very proud to bring this exciting and relevant topic to the area through our summer camps. Cyber attacks are a very real threat to all of us, and helping kids not only see the importance of computer safety and teaching them how to prevent hacking, but exposing them to skills that are in high demand, can have a tremendous effect on their future and even national security."


In addition to hosting one of the first AFA CyberCamps for students ages 12-15 in northwest Indiana, the Challenger Learning Center will offer an elementary version of the camp for students ages 9-11. This 2 - day camp to be held July 25 and 26, will mirror some of the activities in the week-long version, but will also include introductory game development and coding for young students who are just beginning their computer skills training.


The CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program was created by the Air Force Association in 2009 to attract students to cybersecurity and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. In addition to the annual National Youth Cyber Defense Competition and the new AFA CyberCamp program, CyberPatriot has launched an Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative designed to introduce young students to online safety. To learn more about CyberPatriot, visit


To register for either session of the CyberCamp, hosted by the Challenger Learning Center, visit or call 219/989-3250.