Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Spooks And Snoops And Plots... For Tots?

There are many oddities in the news today, but the one that raised my eyebrows the most is this story by Hunter Walker of TPM about NSA's outreach programs for kids K‑12:
Along with running a massive surveillance apparatus, the secretive National Security Agency operates a program dedicated to getting its agents inside America’s elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. These K-12 NSA operatives guide children through math exercises, “cyber ethics,” and even mock spy games.

The NSA’s classroom initiatives are part of the Mathematics Education Partnership Program, which is described by the agency as an “outreach program to promote mathematics and science education at non-profit educational institutions.” MEPP began in the early 1990s due to concern among some at the NSA about the future of math and science education. ...

Along with a “Cryptokids” website featuring cartoonish recruitment materials, the NSA promotes several classroom initiatives as part of MEPP including “summer institutes” for teachers who work with children in second through fifth grades and a program that involves NSA volunteers mentoring students and repairing school equipment. The agency also offers a series of “interactive talks” NSA staffers can deliver to students from kindergarten through high school. ... A spokesperson for the NSA declined to comment on this story.

(Bolds mine. See original for links.)

I don't get it. When I was a kid, all the mathematically adept students were fascinated with the concept of cryptography, even if they didn't end up doing it for a living. Now the real spies have to make it entertaining for today's kids...
They're creepy and they're kookey.
Mysterious and spookey.
They're altogether ookey...
The modern NSA!

... and do you also offer 'Teach Everyone'?

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