September 23, 2022
The Department of Computer Information Technology and Graphics at Purdue University Northwestern (PNW) received grants from the National Security Agency (NSA) to host a GenCyber camp for teachers in July. The teachers’ camp focused on educating on cybersecurity concepts covering a variety of topics and using several software and hardware technologies to help them learn and make the experience fun.
The program included an in-depth examination of Python programming and coding vulnerabilities and ciphers through the software; hacking and forensic tools; use a Raspberry Pi for programming and as an Internet of Things device; use a Sparki robot to teach C coding and robot control and games; and cybersecurity approaches for various vulnerabilities. At the end of the week, teachers presented lesson plans formulated to showcase their learnings.
Speaking on the importance of introducing cybersecurity and cybersecurity at the primary and secondary levels, as well as at the education level, Associate Professor of Computing Information Technology George Stefanek cited the current technological climate as one of the factors influencing the production of the camp.
“As our world becomes increasingly interconnected through IT, network, Internet and cloud services infrastructure, the personal and professional tasks we perform will increasingly require the use of this infrastructure,” Stefanek said. . “Disruptions to this infrastructure can have major impacts on our daily business and personal activities.”
PNW has created online tools and resources for teaching cybersecurity to help middle and high school teachers integrate cybersecurity topics into their school curricula. The development of these resources is led by Michael Tu, professor of computer information technology and director of the Center for Cybersecurity.
PNW now offers a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, which teaches students the technical skills, knowledge, and skills necessary to protect networks, systems, software, and data from criminal or unauthorized access.