Skip to main content
3 min read

Iowa Schools Scale Up Cybersecurity Education

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) selected as provider of cybersecurity education for state

INDIANAPOLIS Project Lead The Way (PLTW) today announced that grant funds are available for Iowa high schools to expand access to computer science and cybersecurity education for students. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides transformative learning experiences for PreK-12 students and teachers across the country.

The Iowa STEM Scale-Up Program, a statewide program of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, selects programs that meet a high bar of excellence to inspire students across Iowa and improve interest and achievement in STEM, and PLTW has been selected as part of the STEM Scale-Up since 2013.

The grants are for schools to implement PLTW Cybersecurity, which is designed for high school students (grades 9 – 12) and is the newest offering within the PLTW Computer Science program. The course introduces the tools and concepts of cybersecurity and encourages students to create solutions that allow people to share computing resources while protecting privacy. Students solve problems by understanding the vulnerability of computational resources and closing these vulnerabilities. It integrates standards from Iowa Core Mathematics and Literacy Standards, the recommended Iowa Computer Science CSTA Standards, and the Iowa 21st Century Skills through each of the four units.

Doyle Massey is a PLTW Cybersecurity teacher at West High School in Davenport and knows the value of this kind of education for his high school students who don’t remember a time when they didn’t have access to a smart phone or high speed internet.

“In my 26 years working as a teacher and administrator, I have worked with a lot of curriculum and PLTW Cybersecurity is one of the best,” Massey said. “Each unit is focused around a real-world problem. My students love the curriculum, and the administration loves that the students are being taught to be ethical cybersecurity specialists. This is a great course that prepares the students for a growing career, while helping them understand the importance of being ethical.”

The grants will provide access to PLTW Cybersecurity curriculum and to all PLTW Computer Science program features including:

  • Connections with PLTW teachers both in Iowa and across the country through training and online forums
  • End-of-Course Assessment, a first-of-its-kind assessment measuring both technical and in-demand skills.
  • Ongoing access to teacher resources and learning opportunities and 24/7 school and technical support
  • Required software licenses
  • $3,000 cash award to schools with new PLTW Computer Science programs implementing the Cybersecurity course to be used solely for professional development and associated equipment & supplies

“Cybersecurity is one of our nation’s most pressing issues, and students who develop the knowledge and skills to find solutions will be in high-demand,” said PLTW President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Vince Bertram. “We’re excited to continue partnering with teachers, principals, superintendents, community and state leaders to inspire, engage, and empower Iowa students.”

Since 2005, PLTW has partnered with schools across the state to deliver high-quality, STEM-based learning experiences to students. PLTW has also been a proud partner with the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and the STEM Scale-Up Program. The first PLTW program in Iowa began in 2005, and today, there are over 370 active programs.

"Thanks to the generous support of Iowa's State Legislature, world-class STEM education programs including Project Lead The Way are being delivered to educators across the state,” said Iowa STEM Council Executive Director Jeff Weld. “Participating learners in the Governor's STEM Council's Scale-Up Program outperform their peers in mathematics and science standardized tests, express greater interest in STEM careers and express greater interest in living and working in Iowa upon completing their studies. And, IT careers are growing at three times the rate of other jobs in Iowa, making this new offering from our outstanding partners at PLTW particularly timely."

Schools may apply through March 2. To learn more and apply, schools may visit the Iowa STEM Scale-Up Application.

About PLTW

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a mission-driven organization that is transforming the learning experience for millions of PreK-12 students and thousands of teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW’s teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning. Approximately 12,200 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit


Media Contact:
Lauren McConnell
PLTW Director of Media Relations