About the Project

“Teaching Security” is a curriculum project at the International Computer Science Institute. We are providing classroom-ready materials and lesson plans for teaching important cybersecurity principles in high schools, centering around threat modeling and the human-centered nature of authentication.

We focus on hands-on, inquiry-based activities that allow students to explore for themselves how cybersecurity works. The resource also includes discussion guides, slide decks, educational videos, and assessments, as well as background information for teachers. The first lesson, on threat modeling, introduces students to “the security mindset” and provides an overarching framework that students continue engaging with in later lessons, on key security concepts like authentication and social engineering.

“Teaching Security” is built to address the cybersecurity-related objectives in the AP® Computer Science Principles (CSP) framework. However, the materials are flexible enough to be used in a variety of classrooms (not just AP classes).

Our goal is to have impact at several levels:

  • Piquing students’ interest in the cybersecurity subfield;
  • Giving future engineers in all areas an understanding of security implications; and
  • Providing all students the basic skills to protect their personal information and safety online.

Project Contributors

Content Lead

  • Maritza Johnson (University of San Diego/ICSI)


  • Julia Bernd (ICSI/UC Berkeley)
  • Daniel D. Garcia (UC Berkeley)
  • Buffie Holley (Albemarle High School/UVA)


  • Serge Egelman (ICSI/UC Berkeley)
  • Elizabeth Hawthorne (Rider University)
  • Nicholas Weaver (ICSI)


  • Ketrina Yim

Thanks Also To…

  • The teachers who participated in the CyberWars @ UVA 2018 workshop and our SIGCSE 2019 pre-symposium workshop and provided amazingly helpful feedback; other teachers who’ve taught the lessons and told us how it went; and the many students in Ms. Holley’s classes who provide ideas and inspiration.


To contact the team, drop us an e-mail at contact@teachingsecurity.org.


NSF logoThis work was supported by funding provided to the International Computer Science Institute by National Science Foundation grant CNS‐1636590, “Teaching Security in CSP”.

* Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the individual authors or originators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation, the International Computer Science Institute, UC Berkeley, or any other associated institutions.

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