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Press Release -- April 13th, 2017
Source: CenturyLink

Monroe City and Ouachita Parish teachers complete initial STEM training

Local high schools ready to implement nationally recognized STEM curricula

MONROE, La. – Through a combined effort with CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL, news, filings), the City of Monroe, the Monroe City School System, the Ouachita Parish School System and the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC), local high school teachers from the City and Parish school systems have completed the first phase of a nationally recognized STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program.

Phase I training for teachers, Cyber Literacy, is a hands-on curriculum that will help them build a strong cyber foundation for high school students. This training, hosted at CenturyLink and sponsored by IBM, was completed in February and March.

Now that teachers have completed this phase, they will introduce students to cyber by blending robotics, programming, electricity, and elements of liberal arts. Students learn about the opportunities, threats, responsibilities, and legal constraints associated with operating in cyberspace. Throughout the course, students learn the basics of electricity, programming, and networking as well as develop critical thinking skills. Cyber Literacy lays a foundation for further exploration into STEM and cyber-related topics.

Cyber Literacy Units

Electricity shows the students the fundamentals of electricity from the very basic movement of electrons to practical and engaging experiments that include chemistry, circuitry, and magnetism concepts.

Programming introduces students to basic coding essentials through flowcharts and simple programming languages. This unit builds the students’ confidence in programming, which will apply to the subsequent unit, Robotics.

Robotics uses a Parallax® Boe-Bot® microcontroller as the platform for teaching students robotics fundamentals. Students assemble their robots to perform various functions through the implementation of sensors and application of their programming knowledge.

Liberal Arts illustrates real world applications and implications of computers and the internet in our society today. Students are challenged to intensely deliberate the historical and societal context of cyber.

Training will continue later this year and into next year as more modules are added to course offerings.

In 2010, the CIC created the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC) to advance its academic outreach and workforce development programs across the nation.

The Cyber InterstateTM

NICERC works with its partners to design project-driven, application-based curricula that engage students across primary, secondary, and post-secondary grade levels. The Department of Homeland Security identified NICERC as the national model for cyber education and thus allows for the free distribution of content and curricula.

The Cyber InterstateTM, a robust library of curricula, contains numerous full-year, K-12 courses that are modular in form and hands-on. This design provides teachers and school systems with a rigorous program that showcases a systems-level understanding of real-world applications of STEM and cyber. In addition, this context-based approach to STEM incorporates components of liberal arts, allowing teachers to embed the curricula across multiple disciplines.

About CenturyLink

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is a global communications, hosting, cloud and IT services company enabling millions of customers to transform their businesses and their lives through innovative technology solutions. CenturyLink offers network and data systems management, Big Data analytics and IT consulting, and operates more than 55 data centers in North America, Europe and Asia. The company provides broadband, voice, video, data and managed services over a robust 250,000-route-mile U.S. fiber network and a 300,000-route-mile international transport network. Visit CenturyLink for more information.

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