RAFT Announces Cyber Security Learning Module and Design Challenge Kit

San Jose, CA, January 10, 2017: There is a growing need for a digitally literate workforce that uses technology in a safe and secure way. Through a generous grant from Symantec Corporation, the global leader in cyber security, RAFT has developed a cyber security learning module and associated kit, increasing awareness about cyber security among elementary school students and providing them with the content and skills they need for the future.

“At Symantec, we are committed to supporting computer science education for all. This cyber security kit will help students understand important concepts and is part of reaching our goal to excite, engage, and educate 1 million students in STEM by 2020,” said Cecily Joseph, Symantec vice president, Corporate Responsibility.

RAFT’s cyber security learning module teaches the importance of cyber security, how to create and remember strong passwords, how to convert decimal data to binary data in order to “talk like a computer,” and to model simple programs by using materials creatively to encode and decode data. The learning module is available to all at http://raft.education/cyber-security/.

The Cyber Security Kit contains materials for four to six small groups of students to complete a design challenge that asks students to combine the concepts of strong password creation with binary numbers and programming. Students create “data” that must be protected. They use the concept of basic encryption via substitution to encode the data multiple times to provide extra layers of protection, similar to entering a password and then verifying additional pieces of information to gain access to an online account. The kit materials are upcycled from local manufacturers to also promote environmentally friendly learning. The kit is available at http://www.raftstore.net/cyber-security. It is $20 for RAFT members and $30 for nonmembers.

The RAFT learning module and associated kit allows students to solve a real world problem while exploring cyber security concepts. The learning module has been designed to reinforce essential 21st century skills, including creativity, problem solving, teamwork, perseverance, and learning from failure.

RAFT – Resource Area For Teaching is a non-profit, resource solution to help educators transform a child’s learning experience through hands on education to one that inspires the joy and discovery of learning. Founded in 1994, RAFT focuses on providing educators of all types – classroom teachers, after school educators, homeschool educators, scout leaders, early care and education professionals – with effective, engaging, affordable hands-on learning resources aligned to national curriculum standards. RAFT, believes the best way to spark a love of learning for the next generation of thinkers, innovators, problem-solvers, and creators is through hands-on learning. RAFT supports 7,000 educators in enriching and improving the education of over 500,000 students.