Purdue University Northwest is developing an innovative cybersecurity curriculum to provide high school students with hands-on activities in an immersive learning environment. The following activities will be developed for cybersecurity teaching in high school environments: virtual reality three-dimension games, robotic programming games, practical ethical hacking labs, and cyber forensics labs based on simulated cases. This project is expected to provide an immersive, learning-based curriculum for high school cybersecurity education. One of the goals is to minimize preparation efforts, and requirements of cybersecurity skills and content knowledge from teachers looking to incorporate cybersecurity into their classroom education. This will address the lack of cybersecurity educators and will make cybersecurity education more accessible to students in rural areas. Through the proposed outcomes, more students will be exposed to cybersecurity education during high school and are likely to be more motivated to pursue higher education and careers in this field, which will ultimately strengthen future cybersecurity workforce development.

Virtual reality three-dimension games will be developed to simulate system vulnerabilities, attacks, security protection techniques and social engineering scams. Robotic programming games will be developed for robots, such as Sparki and Raspberry Pi, to simulate robotic functionality and security attack scenarios that take advantage of programming security vulnerabilities. Cyber forensics investigation cases and cybersecurity attack labs will be developed based on a virtual network system that simulate a classic enterprise system with business functioning and security components. The virtual reality three dimension games, robotic programming games, cyber forensics cases, and cybersecurity attack labs are expected to be integrated with other instructional methods to promote student education through interactive practices. The cybersecurity curriculum and instructor companion materials developed through this project will be shared and disseminated to the cybersecurity education community via sharing with GenCyber student and teacher summer camps, and in K12 teacher conferences and organizations.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Graduate Education (DGE)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Program Officer
Victor P. Piotrowski
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Purdue University
West Lafayette
United States
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