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EdInt E-Newsletter


Some thoughts in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks: Watching the non-stop coverage of this tragedy on TV evoked memories of sitting in a college classroom the week of 9/11 and trying to make sense of what had just happened to America. This was so difficult for college students, and I can only imagine how hard it must have been for middle and high school teachers to explain to their students how the world had just changed forever. I'm sure teachers in Paris are thinking the same thing today.

What is particularly difficult is the argument that these tragedies were caused by "intelligence failure," a concept that I'm sure hadn't been discussed to any extent in middle school civics or math classes. And intelligence failed - miserably - in the case of 9/11 and Paris...and London on 7/7, and Mumbai, and Ft. Hood, and Boston, and so on and so on.

How, then, do we explain to our students what this means? Can we be confident that our intelligence agencies are doing all they can to keep this from happening in Washington, DC, or New York, or Boise, or Miami, or Kilgore, TX? The short answer: we can't. But we can educate ourselves, and our students, about many of the key issues surrounding terrorism - and the fight against it.

Here are more than 20 podcasts that we have recorded with experts in the field of terrorism and counterterrorism. Most of them are less than 45 minutes in duration, and they can help to provide important context for you and your students:

P.S. A note from SPY educators:
Additionally, you may be interested in checking out these classroom ready lesson plans!

Enemy Within Educator Guide
9/11: The Intelligence Angle


Physics, chemistry, scientific method and more...The Forensics of Espionage workshop will be making its debut in spring 2016. Working in collaboration withforensic scientists at the FBI Labs at Quantico, we are in the process of developing a hands-on workshop that will explore the science of forensics as it applies to an espionage case. From questioned documents, handwriting analysis, latent fingerprint analysis, and cryptanalysis, students will examine evidence and make recommendations based on their findings.

For more information on how to book a workshop contact Lucy Stirn at 202.654.0933 or


We know that teaching with primary documents is important, but think about the power of a document that was once classified as top secret. Shedding light on The Secret History of History, declassified documents have the power to change our perception of what we thought we knew about past events. On September 16th, the CIA released roughly 2,500 Presidential Daily Briefs (PDBs). While there have been one or two instances in the past of a PDB being declassified, this amount is unprecedented. The PDB is only seen by the President, the Vice President, and a select few of the President's cabinet. These documents reflect the intelligence community's most pressing issues of the day. The CIA created a 23-page color document describing the role of the PDB and key documents released during the Kennedy and Johnson presidency. Take a look at the CIA's FOIA Reading Room to disolve a treasure trove of newly declassified documents.


Ever wonder what is in Michael Jackson's FBI files? Or how about Lucille Ball or Charlie Chaplin's FBI files? Pop Culture files in the FBI's "Vault" can be found on their website. For an example of how you can use these in the classroom check out our Is She or Isn't She lesson about the Red Scare period of American History in which students determine if Lucille Ball is a Communist threat. This lesson plan can be found in our Enemy Within Educator Guide.


Be the first to respond correctly to this question and we'll send you a complimentary DENY EVERYTHING hat and mug (what teacher doesn't need that?!).

In 1916, an act of sabotage on this island shook the windows and buildings in New York City.

E-mail with the answer and your contact information (mailing address).

Eyes Only!

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Explore the Educational Resources available on our website. Your students can prepare themselves for their missions at the Museum or debrief on what they learned. We know time is limited which is why we have designed these activities to be easy to teach and address National Standards of Learning.

Spy Term!

A person sent by the intelligence agency of his or her own country who approaches an intelligence agency in the hope of being recruited as a spy so as to allow a double agent operation for the purpose of intelligence collection or disinformation.

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