New Cybersecurity Curriculum from SAE International Teaches Middle School Students Components of Securing Data and Systems

SAE International announces the launch of “Cybersecurity: Keeping Our Network Secure” Challenge, a new program in its award-winning A World In Motion® (AWIM)curriculum. The challenge was released in January of 2018 within General Motors (GM) classrooms and will expand its reach to additional communities during the 2018-2019 school year.

Made possible through a grant by GM, the Cybersecurity Challenge deepens students’ understanding of the architecture of the internet and how it was designed to withstand both physical and electronic attacks.

“Every new advance and innovation in technology comes with the opportunity to benefit of society, but so often the threat of malicious misuses,” David L. Schutt, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of SAE International, said. “SAE is committed to helping improve society and as a part of that is educating students on the secure use of today’s advancing and ever-evolving technologies. The entire nation is relying on cybersecurity education to secure our precious infrastructure and to protect our privacy. This education starts with the youngest learners and is possible through the support of our industry partners, like GM.”

In the first of many planned curricula in the AWIM Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity curriculum project, the Cybersecurity: Keeping Our Networks Secure Challenge, students explore several physical models that simulate the movement of information through the internet; identify problems with each model, and test different enhancements to help make the network operate better and faster. Students investigate the two basic components of securing data and systems: encryption (changing information from one form to another, especially to hide its meaning), and authentication (proof that something is real, true, or genuine). After learning about these important attributes of cybersecurity while exploring network security regarding self-driving cars from a fictional car company, Jupiter Motors, students work in teams to create marketing materials to help the target audience feel more comfortable and confident about Internet security.

Curriculum for the Cybersecurity Challenge was developed in conjunction with Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), a global nonprofit organization that develops, delivers and evaluates programs designed to address challenges in education, health and economic development.

To learn more about the IT and Cybersecurity AWIM curriculum project, please contact the SAE Foundation at

AWIM is a teacher-administered, industry volunteer-assisted program that brings science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to life in the classroom for students in Kindergarten through Grade 8. AWIM provides high-quality, hands-on STEM programming that aligns with educational standards and teaches students not only critical STEM skills, but also how to work in teams and how to present and defend their ideas. Students who use the AWIM curriculum gain the skills needed to succeed in real-world work environments.

SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting over 127,000 engineers and technical experts, we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our charitable arm, the SAE Foundation, which helps fund programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™.

This entry was posted in News From Us. Bookmark the permalink.