1. Laurin Buchanan
  2. http://www.linkedin.com/in/laurin-b-8766551
  3. Principal Investigator
  5. Secure Decisions
  1. Lori Scarlatos
  2. https://www3.cs.stonybrook.edu/~lori/
  4. Stony Brook University Stony Brook Univ

Cybersecurity for Middle School Teachers and Students (CyberMiSTS)

NSF Awards: 1821757

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8

Research shows that to capture more student interest in the field of cybersecurity, students need to be engaged during middle school. Middle school teachers often lack the knowledge and resources to teach cybersecurity to students at this age. The Cybersecurity for Middle School Teachers and Students (CyberMiSTS) project seeks to address this gap by providing middle school Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to actively engage students and expose them to cybersecurity concepts and careers.

Researchers and former cybersecurity practitioners at Stony Brook University and Secure Decisions are collaboratively creating a research-based cybersecurity curriculum for middle school teachers and students. Rather than dive deeply into underlying math and science, the focus will be on key concepts and big questions to encourage participation from the broad and diverse set of students in a CTE class.

Beginning in the summer of 2019, middle school teachers will learn about cybersecurity from these cybersecurity researchers and educators in a two-week workshop, engaging in hands-on activities and customizing cybersecurity course materials for their own classrooms. The workshop and course materials will incorporate Comic-BEE, a novel web application for creating educational, branching web comics. Branching stories provide opportunities to explore cause and effect. The comic style is engaging to middle school students who are disinclined to read long texts, and can incorporate culturally relevant pedagogy with the potential to reach more students.

After the workshop, teachers will use those materials in their own classrooms with instruments provided by the research team to gauge their students’ understanding of cybersecurity concepts and interest in cybersecurity careers. Details and updates about CyberMiSTS can be found at the project website https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/cybermists/index.php.

This project includes NSF Project Awards #1821757 and #1821753.

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