Louisiana Tech hosts Cyber Discovery 2013

Mar 4, 2013 | Engineering and Science, Research and Development

Over three dozen teachers from 16 high schools throughout Louisiana and Arkansas gathered on the campus of Louisiana Tech University recently to participate in the official kick-off of Cyber Discovery 2013.
Cyber Discovery is a national cyber education program developed through a partnership between the Cyber Innovation Center’s National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC) academic program and Louisiana Tech.  It was created to be a catalytic event for engaging students and teachers in historical, ethical, and social issues that impacted by cyberspace.
“We designed Cyber Discovery to provide an interdisciplinary experience for teachers and students by showing the linkages between history, engineering, mathematics, political science, and computer science and then wrapping those elements within today’s social context and current technologies,” said Dr. Galen Turner, chief academic officer for NICERC and professor of mathematics and statistics at Louisiana Tech.
Cyber Discovery 2013 included specialized professional development workshop to prepare teachers to lead their high school student teams in a week-long, academically rich experience that deals with the issues that impact everyone through cyberspace.

High school teachers, students learn side-by-side at a recent Cyber Discovery Camp.

For many of the teachers attending, this was their first experience with Cyber Discovery.  It is designed to be a total immersion experience that looks into all issues related to cyber as well as applications that reveal the need for and use of security in cyberspace.  The event includes discussion sessions, hands-on engineering and computer science labs, a cryptographic treasure hunt, creative story-telling, and a final cyber challenge.
“Last year, the demand for Cyber Discovery was so high that we decided to add another week for schools to participate in this summer,” said Paul Spivey, deputy director for NICERC.  “As a result, we have eight new high schools from north Louisiana, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans taking part in this year’s Cyber Discovery program.”
Key content sessions during the professional development workshop were led by Louisiana Tech faculty including Turner, Dr. Kelly Crittenden, and Dr. Jeremy Mhire.  Tech faculty members Dr. Heath Tims, Dr. Mike Swanbom, and Dr. Jean Gourd were also active throughout the workshop in addition to NICERC’s Krystal Corbett, Josh Coriell, and Spivey.
This year, participating high schools included several from south Louisiana including Thibodeaux STEM Academy (Lafayette), Catholic (Baton Rouge), Ascension Christian (Baton Rouge), Saint Joseph’s Academy (Baton Rouge), The Dunham School (Baton Rouge), NOMMA (New Orleans).  North Louisiana high schools included Airline, Benton, C.E. Byrd, David El Dorado (Arkansas), Haughton, Parkway, Louisiana New Tech, North Caddo Magnet, Ruston, and West Monroe.
NICERC continues to showcase its innovative Cyber Discovery program across the nation.  Last year’s efforts engaged 11 faculty members from the University of Baltimore, 10 high school teachers, and 30 students took part in a demonstration of the project. Over the next decade, NICERC seeks to impact 65 universities, 700 high schools, 14,000 teachers, and 2,000,000 students throughout the United States.
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Written by Catherine Fraser –