The Cyber Innovation Center created the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC) to advance its academic outreach and workforce development program. NICERC focuses on curriculum design, professional development, and collaboration in K-12 education. Project-driven curricula creates a context for the content at every level of learning. Professional development programs for K-12 teachers enable them to motivate creativity and innovation in students through problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication. The programs offered through NICERC provide a collaborative and comprehensive solution that fosters systemic change in education.
• To serve as a catalyst for future research in cyber education,
• To provide a focal point for continued interdisciplinary collaboration in STEM education reform,
• To nationally disseminate innovative practices in education, and
• To promote a culture of educational innovation across a network of college and K-12 faculty around the nation.
“The nation will require approximately one million more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals than what will be produced at current rates over the next decade.”
- President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology February 2012 report to the President
NICERC works with its partners to design and redesign its programs so that they incorporate project-driven, application-based learning that engages students across primary, secondary, and post-secondary grade levels. Each design initiative undergoes a rigorous, iterative process including phases of research, development, evaluation, improvement, and implementation.
Our programs provide hands-on, context-based approaches to professional development, empowering teachers to prepare students to become the leaders of tomorrow. Prior to implementing any NICERC curricula, teachers attend an immersive professional development workshop. These workshops are led by a team of education leaders and subject matter experts and are designed in a way that fully engage teachers and prepares them for a successful implementation of the curriculum in their classroom.
Professional development empowers K-12 teachers to engage students through camps and competitions in order to cultivate and foster competitive, knowledgeable students with expertise in STEM. NICERC professional development uses the u-Discovery Model which leverages student-catalyst teams in which teachers serve as project director or coach. This approach allows teachers to see new and innovative ways that their students can be engaged. Thus our approach gives teachers the capability to influence a larger number of students (over a greater period of time) than would any program aimed only at students.
The culminating events for key professional development programs of NICERC are cyber camps where teachers bring teams of students who serve as the catalyst for the final professional development experience. In particular, Cyber Discovery camp is the culminating event for the Cyber Discovery professional development program which focuses on the integration of STEM and liberal arts. At the camp, students are immersed in project-driven, hands-on labs that showcase cybersecurity, cryptography, engineering, mathematics, forensics as well as history, policy, and ethics. The camps are a showcase of NICERC programs which work together to create a sustainable, knowledge-based workforce. See more...
NICERC works with its partners to redesign curricula so that it incorporates project-driven, application-based learning that engages students across primary, secondary, and post-secondary grade levels. Our curricula are intended to provide school systems with a rigorous program that showcases a systems-level understanding of real-world applications of mathematics, science, and engineering. The long-term impact on students comes through close collaborative relationships between teachers and university faculty. Our courses provide a hands-on, context-based approach to math and science professional development - empowering teachers to prepare students to become the engineers and scientists for tomorrow. See more...