Cybersecurity for Kids: Teach Cybersecurity with Sphero

Sphero brings abstract cybersecurity concepts to life for middle school students with 20 free lessons & an Educator Guide for Sphero BOLT. The best part? No previous experience is required—for student or educators.

Sphero’s Award-Winning Cybersecurity Lessons

Teach students how computer systems, electronic devices, and their users are protected from theft, damage, disruption, or misdirection of the services they provide.

"The Sphero BOLT demonstrates the often tricky cybersecurity concepts through small group and whole-group activities. …During the cyberbullying lesson, the students learned the impact negativity could have on the joy they have in their favorite activities. They also learned ways to prevent and minimize the effect that cyberbullying can have on themselves and others."

Laurie G, Coordinator for Model Schools, NY - Security Magazine

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Why is cybersecurity so important?

These stats were taken from a study of 4th-8th grade students. Learn more at Center for Cyber Safety and Education and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Out of all respondents...
Of those who contacted a stranger...
Of those who contacted a stranger...
Of all victims...

Digital Citizenship

Everyone needs to be responsible for what they do on electronic devices in a digital world to protect themselves, their schools, and their communities.

Job Opportunities

The demand for cybersecurity jobs like information security analysts will grow by as much as 33% over the next ten years.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

BOLT Brings Cybersecurity Concepts to Life

"A programmable robot, like Sphero BOLT, is an excellent medium for teaching kids to understand cybersecurity concepts and practices…Visual and hands-on exercises will help bring these abstract concepts to life and provide an arena for kids to have discussions, solve problems, and think of innovative solutions to combat these cyber challenges."

– Dr. Pauline Mosely

Information Technology Full Professor & Director of Camp CryptoBot

 

 

Learning About Cybersecurity

Developed in collaboration with Dr. Pauline Mosley, Information Technology Full Professor and Director of Camp CryptoBot, the Sphero BOLT Cybersecurity Labs bring cybersecurity concepts to life through hands-on learning experiences. BOLT simulates and models concepts that are often hidden deep inside computers, networks, and code so that middle school students can visualize, discuss, and fully understand them.

Students start their cybersecurity journey by learning about ethical vs. unethical computing practices and consider a computing code of ethics.
Students explore some ways that bad actors use phishing and social engineering to plant viruses and worms - two types of malware that can cause harm.
Students learn about other bad actor threats including DDoS attacks, sniffing and scanning, and person-in-the-middle attacks.
Students dig deeper into the world of cybersecurity pros and examine passwords and information encryption.

Meet Our Expert

Dr. Pauline Mosely

Pauline is an Information Technology Full Professor and Associate Chair with 30 years of teaching experience. Pauline’s research includes cognitive models for learning cybersecurity and STEM using robotics, Vocational Anticipatory Socialization (VAS) frameworks and student-centered pedagogy to engage young women and minorities. Pauline worked closely with Sphero to develop the labs.

Uncomplicating Cybersecurity in Education Webinar

 

Hear Dr. Pauline Mosely and the Sphero team’s practical tips and lessons for helping students stay safe online—and how BOLT can help bring abstract cybersecurity concepts to life.

Contact a Rep

Our education experts can answer questions you have about using BOLT to teach important cybersecurity concepts to your students.

FAQs

Can I use the labs with other grade levels, like elementary or high school students?

While the labs were written for middle school students, they can easily be adapted for other grade levels. For example, the Ethics of Computing and Stopping Cyberbullying Labs are great discussion starters for all grade levels and the more complex labs, like the Denial of Service Attacks Lab, can stretch to high school grade levels. 

How many BOLT robots do I need to complete the labs?

Many of the concepts in the labs can be modeled with just one BOLT robot. However, some of the labs require 2+ BOLT robots to demonstrate concepts like network communications, attacks, and defenses with IR communications. If you are using the labs with a classroom of 20 to 30 students, a BOLT Power Pack is the ideal solution.

Do students need to be proficient with programming BOLT before completing the labs?

No, the labs are written with starter programs that get students most of the way to engaging with the Cybersecurity concept. That being said, it is helpful if students know the basics of BOLT including how to pair the robot to their program device and create and run programs on the Block Canvas in the Sphero Edu app. Completing programming BOLT Blocks 1 - 8 activities prior to completing the labs is a good first step.