Cyber Science is an innovative, project-driven course that integrates science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines with liberal arts. Cyber Science uses the Parallax® Boe-Bot® robot as a platform for teaching important cyber concepts and fundamentals. Throughout the course, students are engaged in a systems-level approach to problem-solving using robotics and computer science in the context of liberal arts. Seamlessly integrating the different disciplines provides students with a dynamic learning environment and a unique educational experience. Through Cyber Science, students are not only able to make meaningful connections between STEM and liberals arts, they also learn how to become better cyber citizens. The lessons in the course are divided into five main units: Programming Basics, Foundations of Computer Science, Networking and Security, Artificial Intelligence, and Ethics and Societal Issues. A major strength of the course is that unit components are purposefully interwoven together and provide the students with a holistic view of cyber.
The units are described below. Note the abbreviation next to each category name is used in the file tables to indicate the relation of the unit with each particular lesson.
Cyber Science Units
Programming Basics (PB) provides students with a foundation in programming. Students develop their programming skills through a progression of Boe-Bot® activities.
Foundations of Computer Science (CS) allows students to build a foundation in computer science by learning about concepts such as Boolean logic, variables, flow charts, data structures, and sorting. Many of these are illustrated in the classroom using Boe-Bot® applications.
Networking and Security (NS) showcases the structure of networks as well as the vulnerabilities. The need for security is heavily emphasized through man-in-the-middle attacks, cryptography, and steganography.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) discusses the concepts of heuristics and using sensors to read input in order to produce a desired output. Applications of this concept are showcased through various Boe-Bot® projects that require the students to utilize sensors.
Ethics and Social Issues (ES) explores the historical, ethical, and societal impacts of cyber. Students are challenged with deeper thinking through interpreting articles, writing essays, and participating in debates.