Developing and implementing a cybersecurity course for middle school

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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Publication Title

Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing



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Last Page



Cybersecurity curriculum, K-12 education, Middle school


© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020. Investing in raising a generation with more security-aware minds is vital in preventing many of the security incidents that threaten individuals, organizations, businesses and nations today. In addition, there is a high need for well-trained cybersecurity professionals to protect our networks, computer systems, and infrastructure. Early exposure to basic cybersecurity concerns and concepts is key to developing awareness, piquing student interest, and laying foundation for more complex skill development. In this work, authors present their work developing a middle school cybersecurity curriculum for U.S. grade 8 students. This includes standards, objectives, and lessons for implementation within a year-long business and computer science course. The authors also share their experience and results from piloting the curriculum with nearly sixty grade 8 students in two classes at a Title I middle school in Columbus, GA during the 2017–2018 school year. A comparison of pre and post test results on the content show a significant growth in mastery of key cybersecurity concepts. In addition, artifacts from the course indicate an increased student interest in cybersecurity.

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