NSF Grant Introduces Secondary School Teachers to Cyber Security

Aiming to address the shortage of cyber security experts—called ''one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation'' by President Obama—the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering has launched a training program for secondary school teachers so that they may engage students at a young age.

The National Science Foundation awarded $500,000 under its Research Experiences for Teachers initiative for a three-year program that includes summer training sessions plus research opportunities and mentorship. The program is designed particularly for teachers from urban, inner-city middle and high schools in the greater New York area with socially diverse, economically disadvantaged, and underrepresented student bodies.

The project prepares teachers to develop and deploy cyber security programs at their schools. Curricula and other material developed during the sessions is available at no charge. 

The program also lays the groundwork for teachers to involve their students in the School of Engineering’s annual Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) forensics competition. The largest set of student competitions in the world, CSAW gives students the chance to interact with top professionals and older cyber security students, as well as to attend academic conference sessions.

Principal investigator for the project is Professor Nasir Memon, head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.