Cyber Security Initiative for Nevada Teachers

Project awarded by National Science Foundation (NSF) (Read More...)

Award Amount: $540,000

Six weeks of summer research experience

10 teacher participants/year

$10,000 per teacher per summer (Stipend $8,000; $2,000 toward lab development, integration)

Participate in state-of-the-art projects from NSF, Navy, Air Force, NASA, Army

Involve in hands-on research

Take the knowledge back to your classroom


Principal Investigator: Dr. Shamik Sengupta

Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. David Feil-Seifer

Duration: September 1, 2015 - August 31, 2018 (Estimated)

Award Abstract

This funding establishes a new Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Site at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). The primary objective of this RET site is to explore unique ways to engage middle and high school teachers in summer research experiences that emphasize cybersecurity. The teachers will spend six weeks in the summer participating in research experiences and developing classroom modules and materials which will be implemented in their classrooms during the academic year. The UNR team will use inter-personal role-playing and cybersecurity games to help the teachers learn about cybersecurity and its importance to our nation. The project involves a partnership between the university, the school districts in the surrounding Nevada counties, industrial associates, and the Nevada Department of Education. The project will develop a community of teachers who are passionate about cybersecurity and who can translate this excitement to their students through engaging, high-quality inquiry learning experiences. This RET Site is co-funded by the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program.

The project is anchored by a research area that is compelling and exciting for teachers and K-12 students and by faculty team that has demonstrated expertise in both research and education. The goals of the project are to: recruit a cohort of middle and high school teachers interested in introducing cybersecurity and computer science topics into their classrooms; engage the recruited teachers in research experiences with applications in various modern day systems and security; develop instructional modules that can be incorporated into a variety of grades/classes; initiate collaboration and engagement with all schools in Nevada and other stakeholders in the country to promote and disseminate the results to a large group of middle and high school teachers; and sustain long term partnerships between the RET Site teacher participants, the UNR mentor team and industry partners, in order to bring the excitement of computing, problem solving and research to students and encourage them to pursue STEM related careers. The site features projects that are teacher accessible as well as connected to current research and practice. The RET site includes sound evaluation and dissemination plans that will provide models for integrating cybersecurity concepts into the middle and high school curricula. Teachers will develop and hone their research, communication, and presentation skills, all of which are essential to their professional growth and success. The project will build the technical capacity of teachers so they are capable of developing and implementing new, exciting inquiry-based learning activities at their schools. The project team will disseminate the project materials through the TeachEngineering digital library and a dedicated local website and server repository that will be shared with a wider audience of teachers at annual workshops and meetings. The team will also disseminate project results through high-quality journals and professional meetings.