Teams of middle school students and their robots invaded the quiet classrooms of Parkway High School this past week as they took part in Junior Cyber Discovery, a program offered through the Cyber Innovation Center’s National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC) and Bossier Parish Schools.
Junior Cyber Discovery is a week-long day camp for middle school students that includes an extensive professional development component for teachers and a dynamic, hands-on curriculum for students. Throughout the week, students have been engaged in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through robotics, 3-dimensional modeling, and virtual reality. They have also participated in interactive discussions, skits, and formal presentations on technology-related topics in order to understand the impact of STEM in their daily lives. The 2013 Junior Cyber Discovery teams were from the following middle schools: Cope, Benton, Elm Grove, Greenacres, Haughton, Louisiana New Tech, and Rusheon.
Paul Spivey, NICERC Deputy Director, shared, “Programs like Junior Cyber Discovery provide students an opportunity to make valuable connections between the many benefits of technology and the moral and legal implications associated with operating in cyberspace. Through these experiences, students are challenged to think critically and creatively while working together to solve complex problems.”
Junior Cyber Discovery culminated in teams of students facing off in the Final Cyber Challenge. During the finale, teams gave their oral presentations and competed in a head-to-head autonomous sumo competition.
After all the points were tallied, Benton Middle School took home 1st place, while Haughton Middle School and Cope Middle School finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively. By finishing in the top two places, Benton Middle School won a $500 technology award and Haughton Middle School received a technology award of $250 from the Cyber Innovation Center.