Automotive Cybersecurity Course to Roll Out for High School Students


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A course focused on automotive cybersecurity will be launched in Michigan high schools.

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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has announced the creation of a high school curriculum focused on automotive cybersecurity training.

Masters of Mobility: Cyber Security on the Road will provide training, resources, and materials to Michigan high school teachers who will teach students to program, hack, and learn to defend against cyberattacks. The class was announced at the 2018 SAE CyberAuto Challenge in Detroit.

“Offering our high school students hands-on experience in dynamic fields like automotive cybersecurity will be critical to filling the growing demand for talent in key professional trades,” says Snyder. “This is the type of innovative approach to career training that is at the core of the Marshall Plan for Talent.”

The coursework was developed by Square One Education Network and includes ethical considerations; training in Unix/Linux, which is the language used to program car computers; CANBUS protocols, or how small computers communicate among themselves; engine fundamentals; cryptology; and more. It also builds on SAE’s sixth-eighth-grade A World in Motion programming.

“As we continue our work to create the next generation of talent who will make autonomous vehicles mainstream, a vital part of that work will be to address the industry and market needs for cyber security, which is a critical step to achieve safety and consumer trust with the emerging technology,” says Dan DuBois, CEO of Square One Education Network. “As the leader in innovative mobility-related STEM education, we know today’s partnership announcement will help us advance the needed cyber security resources and hands-on curriculum to teachers and students throughout Michigan.”

 SAE CyberAuto Challenge is a key partner in the program, and teachers attended this year’s event to interact with automotive cyber professionals, students, hackers, and industry professionals. High school students in the program will also increase their chances to win the down-selection process to participate in future SAE CyberAuto Challenges, which attract teams from across the globe to Michigan each summer.

“SAE is excited to take this next step in moving the students of Michigan forward in partnership with Square One,” says Chris Ciuca, director of pre-professional education at SAE International. “This partnership allows us all to move faster in servicing the students across the state with programing that builds the future workforce of the state.”

Other partners include Michigan Economic Development Corp. and GRIMM, a cybersecurity research and engineering firm that just announced the opening of its new research lab in Sparta, Mich. GRIMM will leverage the program to identify candidates to fill more than 25 high-skilled, high-paying jobs and internships in Michigan.

“This program will help Michigan secure its place as the epicenter of automotive cybersecurity R&D,” says Jeff Mason, CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corp. “We are proud to support initiatives like SAE CyberAuto Challenge and the Masters of Mobility program to stay at the forefront of today’s cybersecurity industry.” 

The pilot Masters of Mobility program will launch in two schools over the course of 12 weeks in the fall of 2018, with a roll-out to eight additional schools planned for 2019. Schools being considered include Oak Park High School, Clinton High School, Wilson Talent Center, and Hale Area Schools.

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