Academics

Cyber Science

The Cyber Science program at Loyola Blakefield provides students with industry-caliber skills required by today’s fastest growing employers and offers them the most advanced opportunities to apply those skills in the classroom. The program further enables students to test drive their future careers and understand (in high school) the longterm meaning of their college selection and major life choices.

At Loyola, all topics are taught through the lens of a Catholic institution, enforcing the ethics and morality that needs to be considered in today’s digital world. Simply put, there is no better place to teach this topic than in a Jesuit school.

List of 6 items.

  • Message from the Director

    Mr. Steve Morrill has been recognized as the Nation's First Cyber Teacher. Learn more about the philosophy of our program below...

    Cyber Science is a very new concept in the world. Perhaps the best way to look at this new concept is through the lens of what a Jesuit education has always offered. The increasingly popular acronym STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is not thrown arbitrarily around the halls of Loyola because it is not a new concept here. Over 400 years ago, the Jesuits figured out what students needed to learn in order to change the world in profound and positive ways.

    Now, we are taking that one step further with the addition of Cyber Science to our overall Informatics offerings. We are doing what the Jesuits have always done—looking for what problems society needs to solve. Students at Loyola have done well in this new area because of the outstanding coursework they complete as part of the college prep experience. Cyber Science relies on students’ success in all other disciplines. The math and science parts might seem like a given, but what about English and religion classes? How do they fit into Cyber?

    Students must be able to write and communicate their thoughts. There are very gifted writers who have joined Cyber and have been able to contribute their documentation and analytical skills. Cyber Law is exploding right now, and students who can speak the language of Cyber and write well will set this field on fire with their skills. With the growing threat of cyber-attacks, every industry needs someone who can articulate the language of Cyber now more than ever. In today’s world there are significant cultural and ethical challenges when it comes to Cyber. Religion classes form the basis of a moral compass that inspires one to act ethically and be moral digital citizens.

    Cyber is the new language of our digital world and one more skill being added to our students’ already diverse backgrounds to help prepare them for success in their college careers and beyond.
  • Program Accolades


    The Air Force Association's CyberPatriot is one of the most prestigious cyber competitions in the world. Our cyber science program has consistently placed teams in the regional and national finals of this competition at both the high school and middle school levels. Most recently during the 2018–19 academic year, two of our teams qualified for the Open Division National Finals out of a combined 6,535 teams. We have now sent five teams to the national finals in the last four years—a truly remarkable feat.

    CyberMaryland

    Our program was crowned three-time champions (2013, 2014, 2015) of the now-defunct Maryland Cyber Challenge, hosted by the CyberMaryland Conference. We were also recognized for our cutting-edge program at CyberMaryland 2016. Director of Cyber Science Mr. Steve Morrill and Andrew Stehman '18 were invited to provide an overview of the program and how it's paving the way for Cyber education across the country. Andrew also had the opportunity to introduce the keynote speaker Admiral Michael S. Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency. Read more.

    Cyber Skyline Metropolis Cybersecurity Competition

    In February 2017, twenty-five of our cyber science students traveled to the University of Maryland College Park to compete in the Cyber Skyline Metropolis Cybersecurity Competition, where participants ranged from high school students to seniors in college. The event consisted of two rounds of competition and a corporate-sponsored challenge. A team of four Loyola students won the latter. Read more.

    Global Cyberlympics

    In 2013, Loyola students competed through several qualifying rounds and made it to the finals of the Global Cyberlympics, where they defeated five other teams for the title of world champions. A total of 70 high schools competed in this competition worldwide.
  • Cyber Goes Global

    For the past two years, Steve Morrill has toured Australia to conduct professional learning workshops and presentations for educators, politicians, and key members of the Australian technology and education industries about the development of Loyola’s cyber science program as part of an initiative developed by LifeJourney, the Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACCE), and Day of STEM. In addition to his presentations, several current and former Loyola students have participated in portions of his workshops via video conferencing. In 2018, he and Jake Sanft '19 returned to Australia to showcase our cyber science program to several schools, while conducting teacher and student workshops. 

    Read more about the 2018 trip here.

    Read more about the inaugural trip in 2017 here.
  • Service & Outreach

    Students in our cyber science program have developed a Field Operations Team, which provides outreach to dozens of schools around the globe about digital and social media awareness. Presentations are tailored for faculty/staff, students, parents, and PTA organizations. Demand for this program is at an all-time high as our students advise youth and adults on how to make good decisions in regards to their digital footprint. As of June 2019, our Dons have started presenting to Baltimore County Public Schools for students as young as 4th grade. If you know of a school or organization that is looking for this type of outreach, please contact our Director of Cyber Science Steve Morrill.
  • Testimonials

    "Despite not going into the field, the Cyber Science program was still an extremely influential and irreplaceable experience in my life. After four years in the program and a litany of unique and amazing opportunities, I absolutely saw improvements in my public speaking, technical proficiency, and leadership skills. All which go on to set you up for success in the next stages of life." - Matthew Bavett '17

    "Loyola’s Cyber Security Club allowed me learn about computers, technology, and the field of cyber security. Having the cyber security club as part of my background has contributed to my success pursuing cyber security at University of Maryland College Park as well as in my career. The strong foundation of knowledge concerning computers and cyber security provided by the club on top of the values taught by Loyola have excellently positioned me to succeed in a career in cyber security." - Ian Dalton '14, UMCP '18

    "I remember meeting Mr. Morrill and the Cyber Club in 2013. It was during Loyola’s Open House. Mr. Morrill introduced himself and began passionately speaking about the Cyber Club and their achievements. The Cyber Club had recently won a competition, one that awarded each team member $5000 towards college. I knew at that moment that I wanted my son to be a part of this great opportunity. I knew the Cyber Club would allow him to demonstrate his proficiency with technology. I watched my son work hard with his team. He has developed great leadership skills. I am so proud of his dedication to be part of something great." - Vergie Binns, mother of Ainsley O'Garro '18

    “A values-based education and having some sort of moral and ethical compass is essential. In the security world, with the capabilities that you have comes great responsibility. You have to use them the right way, and too many people lose their way. So I think having that ethical, values-based grounding is essential, and a place like Loyola does that very, very well.” - Nate Fick ‘95, CEO, Endgame Security

    “My time in Loyola’s cyber science program has provided me with opportunities that have not only strengthened my computer skills, but my verbal and written skills as well. In addition, I’ve received valuable guidance from industry-leading professionals in the cyber field which has opened up new possibilities for my future that I never even imagined.” - Owen Haiber '16

    "Cyber security professionals are the 'thin red line' that protects and defends us against these attackers. While fascinating, challenging, and exciting, a career in cyber security demands an extraordinarily high level of motivation, education, and technical acumen. As a result, there simply aren’t enough talented cyber defenders to meet the need. These realities only serve to underscore the importance of groups like the Loyola Blakefield Cyber Science and Informatics Program. By fostering students’ interest in cyber security, Loyola Blakefield is a critical link in the chain that forges the next generation of cyber defenders. As we like to say at Kaspersky, Loyola Blakefield is helping 'save the world!'” - Adam C. Firestone, President and General Manager, Kaspersky Government Security Solutions, Inc.

    "Mike was new to the cyber security world but had a strong interest in computers and software. He randomly walked into the science resource room while the Cyber Security Club was conducting a meeting. This is where he met the amazing Mr. Steve Morrill. The benefits of Loyola’s cyber science and informatics program has made a life-changing impact on Mike and his ability to be a leader, apply technical concepts, and to be a successful team member. I highly recommend the program and experiences for all students that have an interest in technology." - Jerry O’Brien, Father of Michael ‘14

  • Cyber Dons in College

    Many students who take part in cyber science at Loyola Blakefield continue their education at prominent colleges and universities that are on the cutting edge of this emerging field. Here is a list of schools that our alumni are attending or have attended to further pursue a career in cyber science:

    University of Maryland College Park
    Carnegie Mellon University
    Penn State University
    Loyola University Maryland
    Elon University
    Frostburg State University
    Rochester Institute of Technology
    Auburn University
    Boston College
    U.S. Air Force Academy
    University of Maryland Baltimore County
    University of Delaware
    Boston University
    Longwood University
    Lafayette College
    University of Virginia
    Santa Clara University
    George Mason University

Contact

List of 1 members.

  • Mr. Stephen Morrill 

    Director of Technology
    (410) 823-0601 Ext 460
    Bio

Special Thanks to Our Presenting Sponsor

Cornerstone Partner


Interested in sponsoring our Cyber Science program? Please contact J.T. Dean, Director of Major Gifts and Foundation Relations.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • If I don’t know anything about computers, can I still join?

    Yes, absolutely! All that is required is an open mind and a desire to learn new things. In fact, some of our students who have found a passion for this subject area have not liked computers at all.
  • What exactly would I be learning if I participate?

    Simply put... a lot! Our initiatives concentrate on the foundational skills that you need in order to understand today’s digital environment. The majority of our time is spent learning how to defend against today’s cyber threats. Knowing how to defend against a cyber-attack gives insight into an attacker’s mindset, which is invaluable. This includes operating systems, networks, physical security, data privacy, and current legislation on Cyber. We look at how to apply the language of Cyber to all business sectors. There isn’t a business sector today that doesn’t need someone to speak the language of Cyber.
  • What are these competitions I hear about?

    Competitions are a great way to work as a team and showcase the skills that you have been learning against teams throughout the state, region, and nationally. The competitions are a great way to see the immediate and practical impact your skills have in today’s digital world. Students earn their way onto teams, which consist of 5-6 students. Currently, we compete in several competitions, highlighted by the Maryland Cyber Challenge and the Air Force Academy’s CyberPatriot competition. At this time, only the CyberPatriot competition is open to middle school students.
  • Why is there so much talk about hacking and cyber threats?

    The new reality in our digital world is many of the systems that we rely on in our daily lives are vulnerable to attack. Today’s cyber criminals use those vulnerabilities to steal intellectual property and financial resources. Unfortunately, there is even the threat of Cyber Terrorism against our critical infrastructure systems. It is for these reasons that we have our Cyber Science Program.
  • Will this stuff help me in college?

    Yes! If you are entering a technology field of study, you will have a solid technical foundation to continue your education. Even if you are not choosing to study a technology-related field, the skills and knowledge you gain as part of this program will set you apart in your field. As mentioned before, there is not a business sector or career right now that doesn’t need someone who speaks the language of Cyber. Whether it is English, Political Science, Biomedical Engineering, Law, or any other field that deals with data, all require a cyber component.
  • What about internships?

    We have great partnerships with local business that need more qualified cyber professionals. We are fortunate to be in a state that has so many cyber internships and jobs available to us. We truly are in an area that is cutting edge and looking for future talent in this growing industry. Students in their junior and senior year are eligible to participate in paid summer internships.
  • Do we learn how to hack?

    NO! While it is true that you would have sufficient knowledge to “hack,” the Loyola Code of Ethics and Grad at Grad goals strictly prohibit offensive hacking. We concentrate on defensive skills to help protect and defend networks and critical infrastructure. In fact, we spend a good amount of time looking at “hacks” that have happened recently and debate the ethical implications of these activities.

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • How does this fit into a Jesuit College Prep School like Loyola Blakefield?

    As our Grad at Grad goals state, a Loyola graduate should be open to growth and dedicated to a just world. The language of Cyber is a new component that is needed to participate in our digital world and economy. The hallmarks of a Jesuit education are the ideal place to teach a complex subject like Cyber Science. The world needs more people who have a solid moral compass and can speak the language of Cyber. Teamwork is critical for this subject area and requires thought leaders from every academic discipline. We are good at Cyber because our students are good at the rest of the course offerings we have at Loyola. With academic diversity founded on solid Ignatian principles, we are able to differentiate our approach to Cyber and life.
  • I heard there are certifications that I can obtain?

    Yes. If you choose, you can earn a variety of industry certifications. These are very helpful in obtaining internships, and they look great on college applications. There is a time investment that is required to earn these certifications, which–again–are optional. There are opportunities to earn the CompTIA A+, Network +, Security +, Linux + and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certifications, which will make you more marketable in many professions and industries.
  • Will I just be writing computer code?

    Actually, this is one of the misconceptions about Cyber Security. We write very little computer code. We do discuss the topic, and there are several students who are accomplished programmers who share their knowledge with us. Since we work in a team environment, everyone is able to bring their skills to the table. While programming is a valuable skill to learn, you are not required to know computer programming.
  • What are some things I can read to get an idea of what you all do?

    Start with the daily news! There isn’t a day that goes by that there isn’t something in the news that has to deal with Cyber. It could be the latest organization to suffer a data breach, or it could be cyber legislation. A great source for a daily digest of what is happening in this space in all sectors is the daily CyberWire report. You can subscribe at www.thecyberwire.com
  • What does a Cyber Security Club meeting look like?

    No two meetings are the same. At every meeting we take a current event from that day’s headlines and analyze it both from a technical perspective, as well as an ethical perspective. At that point we branch off into many different possibilities. We may be running a training image for an upcoming competition, taking a field trip to a business partner or industry conference, performing a network defense scenario, having a geopolitical conversation about something in the news, or welcoming a Cyber Security guest speaker to campus. Many of the topics and activities for that day are suggestions from the students involved in the program. This academic, ethical, and case-study approach provides both flexibility and diversity while applying both technical and practical challenges to our skills, and ultimately our experiences here at Blakefield.
  • What if I am involved in other extracurricular activities?

    We understand Loyola students have many different interests and commitments. Students are welcome to join us at any time to hear and see what we are doing. Everyone is welcome to attend and participate as much as they would like to participate. If your schedule permits, there is also a morning class (one credit) that you can take. If you just don’t have the time to commit to a competition team, no problem. Currently, many students in Cyber Security also participate on varsity sports teams, as well as other challenging extracurricular areas of interest. Diversity is encouraged.

Loyola Blakefield Cyber Challenge

Created by students, for students, the LBC2 Challenge teaches and assesses participant’s skills and applications for handling cyber threats. Participants are challenged with real-life scenarios that embody the specific cyber threats that are prevalent in today’s society. Whether students have had little or no training, or are well-skilled in computer management, this challenge is open to everyone.

Learn more About Our Program

Cyber at Blakefield

Take a glimpse into what our unique Cyber program is like and get a broad overview of the program in the video below.

Cyber Goes Global

Cyber Director Steve Morrill has twice traveled to Australia to continue the program's outreach and educational opportunties. Learn more about his 2017 trip below.

500 Chestnut Ave. Towson, MD 21204
Ph: 410-823-0601