BROOKINGS – The Federal Bureau of Investigation paid a visit to Camelot Intermediate School last month.
Camelot fifth-graders won an award from the FBI for being the No. 1 small school in the nation in their grade for taking an online cyber-safety exam put on by the FBI.
On Jan. 24, FBI Special Agent Matt Miller presented the award to the Camelot students for the 92.5% score on their National FBI Safe Online Surfing (FBI-SOS) for the month of December. According to a press release from the FBI, there were “a total of 145,361 students in 2,171 schools in all 50 states and U.S. territories” who took the exam.
The press release also said that the FBI-SOS initiative is “open to all public, private and home schools nationwide, the FBI-SOS initiative is a free, age-appropriate, competitive and fun online program that promotes cyber citizenship and teaches students in third through eighth grades how to recognize and respond to online dangers – like internet predators and cyberbullying – and covers topics such as social networking and gaming safety. Every month during the school year, the FBI recognizes the top-scoring schools in each of its three size categories, based on the number of students participating from each school.”
Fifth-grade computer science teacher Ross Peterson was the Camelot instructor who had his students take the exams. His students enjoyed the games and so much from the course that he decided to turn the FBI-SOS into an entire unit for his future classes.
“When we went to Christmas break on Dec. 20, I had looked at the leaderboard and we were No. 1,” Peterson said.
He said that a few days after they got back to school from vacation, he had received a phone call from the FBI headquarters in Minneapolis informing him that they had won an award and there would be a presentation to follow.
“That’s just mind-blowing to me,” Peterson said. “Ninety-three is good, but when you keep talking and talking about it, there’s a lot of opportunity to improve on.”
Peterson and many other faculty members want to see if they can get a higher score and to see how many consecutive months their students can win the challenge.
For more information on the program, visit sos.fbi.gov.
Contact Matthew Rhodes at [email protected]