Cyber Foundations: For Educators

Cyber Foundations is the most effective STEM competition other than the FIRST robotics programs. Kids who participate get excited, spend time, gain a lot of valuable knowledge, get recognition for their accomplishments from local and national government leaders, enhance their chances of getting into good colleges, and increase their commitment to careers in technology. The program does not require any activity by educators, but educators can greatly improve the success of their students if they choose to participate.

Kids can learn, compete, and win all by themselves. But in every pilot test conducted in 2010, kids in the schools where the teachers guided student activities did better than kids in schools where they didn't have that support. Here are answers to common questions that teachers ask:

Who should help?

Any teacher or administrator who likes computers can add value: teachers in technology courses, teachers in computer programming courses, and even the system administrator who runs the computers for your school.

How do they help?

There are two ways to help. Some teachers actually show the Cyber Foundations programs in class. This approach is found most often in technology programs such as Cisco Academies. Other teachers tell the kids which programs to do as homework and then discuss the materials and go over the quizzes in class.

How much time does it take?

For each module, most teachers tell us that three or four days of one-hour classes are sufficient for review.

How can you get started?

Ask your students if they are interested in participating, register your school and view the material together with your students and help them prepare for the competition.

Teachers that participated in the Cyber Foundations Pilot Program recommend the following actions to help motivate and prepare students for the tutorials and competition:

"Students knowing that this is an important national movement which they are a part of validates what they are learning and the career path they have chosen. I had each student choose a section of the study material, type a review, and present it to the class."
Elizabeth Charette, Rhode Island Teacher

"The US is largely defenseless cyber-wise at this time. You've got great career opportunities through this program, plus the ability to make a difference for your country, friends, parents, neighbors, and even your children. Being a geek or nerd has never been better. You will be in high demand, perhaps even revered."
Art Searle, Rhode Island Teacher

Each participating school has to assign a teacher, an administrator or the principal to operate as a school coordinator.

The school coordinator provides any support the students may need and works with the U.S. Cyber Challenge to ensure that only students from his or her school receives access to the competition.