NCF Education Program Partnership Initiatives
While the demand for highly educated and trained cybersecurity professionals is more than a half-million, the number of individuals ready to fill these positions is severely lacking. The National Cryptologic Foundation (NCF) provides unfettered outreach opportunities for learning and partnerships to advance Cybersecurity education to prepare the next generation to succeed in the cyber workforce of tomorrow. Through NCF programs and partnerships, the richness of our combined cybersecurity expertise engages, excites, and encourages the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow.
Since 2018 the NCF has operated without walls laying the groundwork to develop cybersecurity curriculum guidelines for K-12 students, and professional development for teachers, counselors, and administrators. The High School Cybersecurity Curriculum Guidelines (1) (CCG) encourages curriculum providers, teachers, and industry to create curriculum designed to inspire high school students to pursue a profession in cybersecurity, as well as develop thinkers with a cybersecurity mindset that will enhance any profession they pursue.
In partnership with Teach Cyber, a year-long, high school introductory cybersecurity course based on the CCG is now available. The overarching goal of the course is to introduce students to the foundational concepts, principles, and tools of cybersecurity. To date, the class is piloted (2) by teachers across 13 states. As of February 2021, more than 300 educators across 47 states and U.S. territories have registered for Teach Cyber since it launched in Fall 2020. All materials are developed under creative common licensing and free to all 130,000 K-12 institutions.
1 The Cybersecurity Curriculum Guidelines were developed using the Backward Design Model (Wiggins McTighe 2005) and designed by educators.
2 Pilot states: MD, VA, NJ, NH, AL, IN, IL, TX, SD, NE, CO, UT, HI (source: Teach Cyber – Preparing High School Instructors to Deliver Cybersecurity Curricula.)
Interactive virtual tours of the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM) were pioneered by NCF with our tele-presence robot, Friedman. The NCM now offers routine virtual tours using a mobile iPad capability. Advancements to this technology have blossomed due to virtual learning imposed by COVID restrictions. Using augmented reality, virtual reality, and advancements of tele-presence robots, developing a robust interactive virtual experience is possible thereby globally extending the reach of NCM to all students. Schools near and far may gain access to the rich history of the National Security Agency’s presence in supporting the defense of our country.
High School/Middle School Focus Groups
Rita McCardell Doerr, Ph.D., National Security Agency, Senior Technical Development Program (STDP), Office of Academic Engagement is assisting NCF’s efforts with the University of MD Global Campus (UMGC) and the MD State Department of Education (MSDE) to develop a series of Focus Groups aimed at gathering Teachers, Administrators, and Counselors throughout MD.
The aim of this effort is to seek input from MD’s K-12 academic community to guide future NCF and Agency educational programs. In collaboration with MSDE and UMGC, Dr. Doerr will assist the NCF plan and conduct approximately 6 focus groups targeting middle and high school communities. She will analyze data collected to ascertain the most common educational needs of this cohort and assist in developing recommendations for NCF and NSA K-12 educational programs to include programmatic details of content, resources, and delivery mechanisms.
Online Virtual Learning
With our online education partner NEPRIS, we can deliver cybersecurity content virtually to over 8,000 classrooms nationwide via NCF’s Cybersecurity Chats (#CyberChats). The #CyberChats are opportunities for students to hear and interact with current and former cybersecurity professionals, including our members to talk about their history and experience to stimulate students to choose cybersecurity as their profession.
The NCF partners with Towson University to host an assured quality curriculum repository called CLARK (Cybersecurity Labs & Resources Knowledge-base). This repository holds assured quality learning objects (LO) supporting collegiate level cybersecurity curriculum from the National Security Agency’s National Cybersecurity Curriculum Program and the National Science Foundation’s Catalyzing Computing and Cybersecurity in Community Colleges (C5) program. These collections have over 783 learning objectives with over 8,708 downloads from 3,371 users representing 2,201 affiliated organizations.
The NCF was awarded a Subaward grant from the 2020 CAE CSUSB NSA grant, for an innovative project to develop a Resource Directory of all the work from the 300 CAEs. The Resource Directory, once completed, will be a research tool that will identify the breadth of cybersecurity in one repository.
High School CAE Study
The NCF was awarded a Subaward grant from the 2020 CAE CSUSB NSA grant, to conduct a feasibility and advisability study of developing and implementing a High School Centers of Academic Excellence program.
Cybersecurity Escape Room
Nine hundred Scouts at the 2019 Scout World Jamboree experienced the NCF’s Cybersecurity Escape Room. We recently received a grant from the Arundel Community Development Services, Inc. that will further the NCF's partnership with NiSuS to improve the room and develop a “fly-away” capability. This fly-away kit will enable NCF to transport and operate the Cybersecurity Escape Room at any location like a high school. Enhancements include incorporating more National Cryptologic Museum artifact examples.
Cybersecurity Gaming Kiosk
Supported by a grant from the Arundel Community Development Services, Inc., the NCF is teaming with Anne Arundel Community College to sponsor a three-student intern team to develop, design, construct, and deliver an operational cybersecurity themed gaming Kiosk for the National Cryptologic Museum. This project will teach the interns project management and leverage their cybersecurity, networking, digital forensics, and computer science knowledge. The target audience is K-12 with a focus on middle school.
Cybersecurity Booklet for Middle School
The NCF received a grant from the Gula Tech Foundation to develop, produce, and promulgate a customized focused booklet on Cybersecurity Education & Profession with a companion Student Workbook and Teacher’s Guide aimed to engage middle school students. The work is underway with our partner Start Engineering.
This booklet will begin to evolve the language of cybersecurity to embrace the broader easier language of Data Care developed by Gula Tech. Data Care recasts hard to understand cybersecurity terms into understandable concepts of caring for data, much like the health care industry transformed the medical profession. It broadens the workforce discussion and helps students see themselves within the Data Care industry.