NSF Billion Oyster Project video features Pace!

The National Science Foundation (NSF) released a cool new video featuring the Billion Oyster Project (BOP) and Pace University! The Billion Oyster Project is a community of students, teachers, scientists, volunteers, businesses, and schools. Its goal? Getting down and dirty to conduct research and restore the New York Harbor back to its oyster-inhabited glory. With a $5 million grant from the NSF, the project leaders hope to inspire students, specifically middle school students, to help drive the restoration.

At Pace University, the Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration Science (CCERS) and BOP Fellowship trains teachers and educators how to engage students in environmental science and restoration ecology. In 2016, our annual STEM Collaboratory camp teamed up with BOP for an exciting two weeks of research, problem solving, and design thinking. We taught campers HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Google Charts to create a helpful solution.

The NSF video features our very own professor Lauren Birney, the director of Pace University’s STEM Collaboratory. “We’re creating this smart and connected community here in New York City, but then allowing that to grow into other communities,” Birney said. She hopes to build the Billion Oyster Project by continuing to target local middle schools in low-income neighborhoods where students are underrepresented in STEM fields.

Participants aren’t just making new friends, they’re also engaging in STEM activities while restoring the ecosystem in their own backyard! Hands on work teaches students how to measure oysters, test water samples, and other cool activities that keep them active and constantly contributing. The Billion Oyster Project’s website keeps track of teachers, students and volunteers’ work with an interactive map.

Learn more about the 2016 STEM Collaboratory NYC experience, or go further back and check out our Summer Scholars program’s awesome experience with the Billion Oyster Project in 2015!

Seidenberg continues cybersecurity education with GenCyber workshop

GenCyber WorkshopThe Seidenberg School has long been committed to promoting cybersecurity education through a variety of programs and activities. GenCyber, a workshop hosted by Pace and Seidenberg this month, is one of the many ways in which the Seidenberg School has contributed to inspiring the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. 

The workshop is a prestigious cybersecurity education program funded jointly by the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency, designed to promote cybersecurity education at the K-12 level. The 2015 Pace GenCyber was designed specifically for high school teachers, and Pace was one of only ten universities nationwide selected to host a teacher workshop in 2015. We welcomed 22 participants, mostly in STEM fields, but not exclusively so, from all over the U.S. including Washington, Florida, Colorado, and Iowa.

The workshop took place at Pace University’s Pleasantville campus, and was spearheaded by Professor and IT WEST Department Chairperson Li-Chiou Chen and Director of Assessment Andreea Cotoranu. The two organized the program from activity design, to instruction, and everything in between. Lectures for the workshop were then delivered by professors of high esteem within the Seidenberg faculty including Li-Chiou Chen, PhD, Charles Tappert, PhD, Meikang Qiu, PhD, and Darren Hayes, DPS with assistance from some of their talented doctoral students. Jigar Jadav, Computer Science teacher at Mamaroneck High-School, and Pace Computer Science PhD student, provided invaluable input on high school instruction and lesson plan development. Moreover, an orchestra of Pace and Seidenberg students and staff ensured that all logistics worked smoothly. According to Andreea Cotoranu, “this was truly a team effort.”

GenCyber Workshop

Throughout the two weeks of the workshop, the teachers dove into a variety of integrated lectures, labs, resource sharing, curriculum development activities, pedagogy, and community building that all focused on different aspects of four main pillars in cybersecurity including cryptography, network security, access control/biometrics and computer forensics. The workshop also introduced Design Thinking pedagogical strategies for problem solving, a student-centered approach to teaching that fosters learning through project development (brainstorming, creating, doing, etc.) in lieu of traditional lecture-style teaching methods.

GenCyber Workshop

Westchester Magazine quoted participant Virginia Nalbandian, a Pleasantville High School mathematics and computer science teacher, as saying, “the workshop has inspired me as a teacher to return to my classroom and inspire my students. And this is what education should ultimately be about.” Sponsors, participants, and organizers all feel hugely satisfied by the workshop’s success.

Everyone involved in GenCyber left the program with a positive, enthusiastic mindset about going forth and integrating cybersecurity in their curricula. The feedback from both participants and sponsors (NSA/NSF), has been excellent, and we are thrilled with the outcome! The organizers and sponsors are already discussing the plans for the return of the workshop next summer, and we look forward to hear how the project will grow.

 

Seidenberg Faculty Receive 3 Year Grant from NSF

In August, professors Li-Chiou Chen, Darren Hayes, Charles Tappert, Andreea Cotoranu and Xiangdong Li (CUNY-City Tech), received an NSF grant. The title of the project is “Establishing the Information Assurance Student Pipeline through Community College Outreach.” The three-year project led by Pace University involves collaboration with four partner colleges: State University of New York (SUNY) – Rockland Community College, SUNY – Westchester Community College, City University of New York (CUNY) – New York City College of Technology, and CUNY – Borough of Manhattan Community College, of which the latter two are minority serving institutions.

In August, professors Li-Chiou Chen, Darren Hayes, Charles Tappert, Andreea Cotoranu and Xiangdong Li (CUNY-City Tech), received an NSF grant. The title of the project is “Establishing the Information Assurance Student Pipeline through Community College Outreach.” The three-year project led by Pace University involves collaboration with four partner colleges: State University of New York (SUNY) – Rockland Community College, SUNY – Westchester Community College, City University of New York (CUNY) – New York City College of Technology, and CUNY – Borough of Manhattan Community College, of which the latter two are minority serving institutions.

The overall goal of the project is to produce more and better prepared information assurance professionals.

For more information about this grant or to become involved in the project please contact Li-Chiou Chen, lchen@pace.edu

Li-Chiou Chen awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant

Li-Chiou ChenDr. Li-Chiou Chen received notification from the NSF in June that her proposal “Collaborative Project: Secure Web Development Teaching Modules” was approved. While Dr. Chen was the principal investigator, Drs. Lixin Tao and Chienting Lin also contributed to the development of the proposal.

The approved project, which will extend over two years, is to be undertaken in collaboration with the City University of New York – City College. The total amount of the award is $149,900 with $99,956 going to Pace as the lead institution.

The funding will be used to support the development of an innovative teaching tool -SWEET (Secure Web Development Teaching) – for undergraduates. SWEET will facilitate the teaching of secure Web development through structured lectures, laboratory exercises, and project modules for building problem-solving skills and by incorporating realistic Web security scenarios from industry.