Cyber Technologies Academy

Program Details


The Cyber Technologies Academy is an entry-level program for students interested in computer science and cybersecurity. Our goal is to provide a series of free classes that can take motivated students—even those with no computer experience—to a high level of cyber proficiency during their high school journey.

You can participate in CTA after-school classes (4 – 6 p.m.), which run throughout the school year in 10-week sessions, or join one of our condensed summer courses. Classes take place in our Cyber Technologies Research Lab (CTRL), which is home to a wide variety of other cyber events and activities. Through occasional walkthroughs, you can meet some of the top minds working in computer science at Sandia. Being here will give you a sense of what a real-world cyber career looks like.

Our lessons and exercises will provide you practical, hands-on experience with the topics that Sandia's cyber team faces every day. Even better, our classes are designed to be as interactive as possible. To learn how computers communicate, for example, you'll configure two machines from the ground up and watch the network traffic as they perform their first handshake.

Whether you want to learn about the cloud, big data, cyber forensics, vulnerability analysis, or just build some cool stuff—we've got you covered.


CTA is Sandia's effort to help improve cyber education across the United States. Our mission is to place exceptional cyber lessons and training exercises in front of students as early as possible. Our year-round classes for local students can touch only a very small number of young people. Our main focus, then, is to expand our impact by leveraging the existing teaching workforce in two ways:

  • Offer free training courses to teachers interested in introducing or supplementing a computer science curriculum at their school
  • Make our lessons and exercises freely available online for use at home or in the classroom

As we develop new exercises, we're intent on making them immediately accessible in a variety of different atmospheres. We've developed our exercise model around the computer lab environment, a common element of most academic computer programs. And because many of our courses involve hands-on control of low-level system components, we provide a customizable learning platform in the form of a Linux LiveCD. School computers can boot directly from this Linux LiveCD, leaving school systems untouched.

This is especially important because many school districts completely lock down school computers to protect against malicious software, although this can be detrimental to learning. As we continue to partner with more schools, we will be able to refine our offerings to address school-specific constraints or concerns.

If you are a teacher or school administrator and would like to become involved with the CTA or take our summer training courses, email us at Please include your name, school, class(es) of interest, and some background information about your school (for example, on your existing cyber classes).