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All About Code

Navajo Code TalkerstStudents in grades 3 – 5 learn how alphanumeric symbols can be encoded for many fun purposes. In the first of two sessions, they learn about codes by making their own with a limited number of symbols. They then attempt to break each other’s codes and discover the relationship among encryption, decryption, and shared keys.

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eCybermission 2017

eCybermission 2013 teamTired of plastic action toys? In eCybermission, an Internet-based science fair, students in grades 6 to 9 can play real super-spy detectives. Entries are due February 22, 2017.

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Crack Me if You Can!

Carnegie Mellon hackerAt Carnegie Mellon University, students are learning to thwart cyber attacks by becoming “white hat hackers” – ethical computer sleuths searching for and fixing security gaps before the bad guys can exploit them.

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No Phishing! Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2016

Cybersecurity password theftThe Department of Homeland Security designates October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Its “Stop, Think, Connect” toolkit includes materials for various audiences, including students and educators, as well as guides to social media, phishing, and other topics.

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Online Safety Education Initiative

cybersecurity padlock on digital imagesThe CyberPatriot Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative (ESCEI) is a set of three fun, interactive learning modules aimed at increasing K-6 students’ awareness of online safety and cybersecurity principles. The free program kit comes with curriculum on these topics to supplement material presented in the interactive learning modules.

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Fashion, Form & Function

horseFrom Lady Gaga’s glowing, LED-encrusted gown to lightweight body armor and high-tech sports apparel, engineered fabrics are turning up well beyond the fashion world. ASEE’s Prism magazine highlights some innovative examples.

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Website: Keeping Cybersafe

SAFE-Net, a Cyber Safety Awareness program of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, focuses on raising the awareness of students, parents, and educators about cyber threats, measures of protection, and cyber ethics. The website provides materials about cyber security issues, with lessons geared to grades 1-3, 4-6, and 7-12.

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Curriculum: Developing Cybersmarts


Cybersmart! provides free online curriculum for grades K-12 addressing issues of Web safety and ethics: Safety and Security Online; Cyberbullying and Ethics; Authentic Learning and Creativity; Research and Information Fluency; Twenty-First Century Challenges.

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Feature: Hackers in White, Black and Gray

Most of what we read about hackers is unflattering: They’re the twisted minds who break into institutional, corporate or government computer systems, stealing identities and spreading viruses. Or they’re snoops, like the ones in China who, Google suspects, are invading its clients’ privacy.

Those are the so-called “black hat” hackers. But there are also “white hat” hackers, with many of the same skills, who are sought out by big companies, software makers, and governments to test the security of their computer systems.

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