Professor Jean Camp Awarded Department of Defense Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Award to Develop Educational Tools for Middle and High School Classrooms

For Immediate Release 10/25/19

Professor Jean Camp of the the Security and Privacy in Informatics, Computing, and Engineering (SPICE) Center at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering has been awarded a Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program (DOD CySP) grant to be a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Education: Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) developing cybersecurity educational tools for secondary school systems.

The DoD’s CAE program is designed to improve the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure and capabilities by developing a pool of cyber-trained students and increasing recruitment into cybersecurity professions. The CAE program supports students with cyber-related degrees at National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Education: Cyber Defense, Cyber Defense Research, or Cyber Operations (CAE-CO).

The students for the future currently are in K-12 classrooms, many of which are unable to deliver the education these students need.

Recognizing both the need for cybersecurity educational materials in middle and high schools, and the growing support gap in computer science education, SPICE’s goal is to create a portable turnkey tool that supports low socio-economic schools provide their students the best fundamentals of cybersecurity education possible no matter the infrastructure or personnel resources at their disposal.

“Schools know they need to teach cybersecurity education and are very interested in preparing their students for the jobs, work, and required knowledge the future brings,” said Joshua Streiff, the co-primary investigator. “However, many schools do not have the capability to properly educate students on the subject. Some do not have good internet connections. Others don’t have specialized educators. It is a significant problem.”

Beginning in 2017, SPICE has been executing a program of educational outreach efforts which include Capture the Flag gaming workshops, teacher training in threat modeling, and escape room gaming as educational tools, as well running hackathons for summer student. This CAE grant expands these experiences and while developing tools and packaging them into a single system that can be deployed remotely.

“This CAE grant will give us the support we need to bring cybersecurity gaming, educational curriculum, and teacher support to any classroom,” Steiff said. “Running on self-contained hardware and software, it will allow the teachers to teach and the students to learn while having fun in our gaming environment. It will be deployable at any school regardless of their resources.”

The SPICE Center’s strong presence in IoT research is part of a larger interdisciplinary focus in security and privacy research. SPICE covers a large range of research areas, from cryptography and genomic data security to its research in usable security. SPICE hosts Indiana University’s Internet of Things research lab, which is a residential home hosting student researchers who test personal devices and network systems in a real-world environment.

The research of primary investigator L. Jean Camp, a professor of informatics and the director of SPICE, and it focuses on the intersection of human and technical trust, leveraging economic models and human-centered design to create safe, secure systems.