BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards created a Cyber Security Commission and visited two programs in related fields at Parkway High School on Thursday.
Parkway is the home of the Cyber Patriot program, which caught Gov. Edwards' eye. According to a news release, the program is a "perfect" model to set the Cyber Security Commission into Motion.
The governor spoke just before 11 a.m. on the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields and signed an executive order creating the statewide Cyber Security Commission.
The commission will have about 15 members and they work with state agencies, the federal government, the military, private companies, etc. It will work to identify cyber risk, enhance emergency responses and other cyber security related things.
The commission would allow the state to do more when it comes to Louisiana's cyber security and make more opportunities in the field.
Those opportunities the coach for Parkway's Cyber Patriot team Sgt. Robert O'Brien says are important to his students.
"It's really great for them, cause they get to see that their hard work is being recognized by a high official, the governor. and so they're really excited about the tasks force," said Sgt. O'Brien.
Before he signed the order, the governor visited with members of the Cyber Patriot and Robotics teams.
"What they're doing to excite kids about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, whether it's robotics or cyber security. It's probably the best program in the state," said Gov. Edwards.
The governor says programs like these are needed to help get students excited about STEM subjects and jobs in those fields.
"There are more than a million jobs open in the United States today in cyber security and in as little as 2 or 3 years that will be 2 million," said Edwards.
Sgt. O'Brien says he comes across many students who aren't initially interested in STEM courses.
"But when I bring them in here and show them what they can do in STEM, it changes them," said O'Brien. "Their mind changes, their outlook changes."
Ninth grader Anna Anderson is part of the Starbase program, where they work to build and launch rockets. She says joining the program has changed the way she feels about some of the subjects.
"I don't know about anyone else, but in my past in elementary school... I hated math," said Anderson. "But Starbase and everything else, it just influences kids to love math and science because you're getting to create this rocket."
The governor was joined by Major General Glenn Curtis with the Louisiana National Guard.