Academics

Cyber Science

Cyber Science is an interdisciplinary field of study developed at the intersection of cyber technology and human behavior, which impacts the world’s leading industries, like mobile, energy, healthcare, and finance. 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.

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  • 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

    CyberMaryland Challenge

    3-Time MD State Champions

    Air Force Association CyberPatriot

    In 2015–16, Loyola placed each of its teams in the top 120 nationally, with many placing in the top 35. Team Black was one of only 12 teams that qualified for nationals in April. Additionally, our middle school team finished 1st in the state of Maryland and 8th overall in the nation out of 480 teams.

    In 2014–15, three of our teams finished in the top 1% nationally. Our upper school teams finished 1st and 3rd in Maryland and 2nd and 3rd in Mid-Atlantic Region, while our middle school team finished 1st in Maryland.

    In 2013–14, our upper school teams finished 2nd and 3rd in Mid-Atlantic Region.

    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.
  • Testimonials

    “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

Hear from Loyola Trustee, Mr. Ed Burchell, Jr. '84, P '16, '20



View Live Norse Threat Map

Norse maintains the world’s largest dedicated threat intelligence network. With over eight million sensors that emulate over six thousand applications—from Apple laptops, to ATM machines, critical infrastructure systems, and closed-circuit TV cameras—the Norse Intelligence Network gathers data on who the attackers are and what they’re after.

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Cyber Science FAQ

List of 13 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.
  • 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.
  • You all just write computer code, correct?

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