Unplugged cybersecurity: An approach for bringing computer science into the classroom

  • Rachel E Fees United States Naval Academy
  • Jennifer A da Rosa Johns Hopkins University
  • Sarah S Durkin United States Naval Academy
  • Mark M Murray United States Naval Academy
  • Angela L Moran United States Naval Academy
Keywords: Cybersecurity, Computer Science, Outreach Education, Professional Development, Project-based Learning

Abstract

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) STEM Center for Education and Outreach addresses an urgent Navy and national need for more young people to pursue careers in STEM fields through world-wide outreach to 17,000 students and 900 teachers per year. To achieve this mission, the STEM Center has developed a hands-on and inquiry-based methodology to be used with K-12 educators at professional development workshops and with students through camps, festivals and fairs, and STEM days.

According to recent data, math and computer science (CS) are the fastest growing fields among STEM careers (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). The Computer Science for All initiative (2016) urges communities to bring more computer science education into the classroom to meet the rapidly rising need for more CS graduates. As a result, the USNA STEM Center has developed a number of unplugged (without a computer) cybersecurity modules to promote engagement and increase awareness. Topic areas include encryption, networking and social media, viruses and malware, programming, hardware components, authentication and authorization, and hacking.

This article describes the methodology for developing unplugged computer science activities and adapting computer science undergraduate curriculum for K-12 educators and students as an introduction to complex computer science topics.

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Author Biographies

Rachel E Fees, United States Naval Academy
Rachel E. Fees is an instructor with the United States Naval Academy STEM Center for Education and Outreach. She holds a B.A. in Geophysics and Planetary Sciences from Boston University and is pursuing her master's degree in STEM Educational Studies from Wheelock College.
Jennifer A da Rosa, Johns Hopkins University
Jennifer da Rosa is the Program Coordinator for Johns Hopkins University Environmental Programs. She was formerly an instructor with the United States Naval Academy STEM Center for Education and Outreach. Jennifer is a doctoral candidate in Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership at Northeastern University, and she has an M.S. in geoscience from Texas A&M University.
Sarah S Durkin, United States Naval Academy
Sarah S. Durkin is the Associate Director of the STEM Center for Education and Outreach at the United States Naval Academy. She received a Ph.D. in Biology from Eastern Virginia Medical School and Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and a B.A. and M.A. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA.
Mark M Murray, United States Naval Academy
Mark Murray is a Professor and the Nuclear Engineering Program Director in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the United States Naval Academy.  He earned his Ph.D., M.S. and B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University in Durham, NC.
Angela L Moran, United States Naval Academy
Angela Leimkuhler Moran is a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department and director of the USNA STEM Center for Education and Outreach. Her Ph.D. is from Johns Hopkins University in Materials Science and Engineering. Prior to USNA, she worked as an engineer and project manager at the Naval Surface Warfare Center. She has performed sponsored research for over 25 years in materials and manufacturing, nano-coatings, forensics and advanced processing, and has been an engineering educator for over 25 years as well.

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Published
2018-02-01
How to Cite
Fees, R. E., da Rosa, J. A., Durkin, S. S., Murray, M. M., & Moran, A. L. (2018). Unplugged cybersecurity: An approach for bringing computer science into the classroom. International Journal of Computer Science Education in Schools, 2(1), 3-13. https://doi.org/10.21585/ijcses.v2i1.21