This summer, approximately fifty high school students and teachers were introduced to the world of cyber intelligence and analysis at Cyber Discovery 2.0 held at Louisiana Tech University. Cyber Discovery 2.0 is an extension of the Cyber Discovery program and includes hands-on activities that incorporate investigative-analysis and collective research in events related to national intelligence. This program is hosted by the Cyber Innovation Center’s National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC) and is being implemented through a grant with the Department of Homeland Security.
At the start of each day, teams were presented with video scenarios in which the security of nations, organizations, and individuals was threatened. Once they received their initial information, teams spent the rest of the day scouring documents, searching for clues, and chasing down leads to find the solution to one question: “Who was responsible?” Adding another layer of complexity, more information was intermittently provided throughout the day to further emulate the dramatic timing of real-life scenarios. As the day drew to a close, each team presented their findings in a briefing with 2.0 program agents.
“These challenges push the students to their limits,” explained Dr. Galen Turner, NICERC’S Chief Academic Officer. As teams sort through the large amount of information they are given they must work together to draw their conclusions and determine what is important and what is irrelevant.”
The camp also highlights the cyber security threats that we face every day. “If it wasn’t for 2.0 I would’ve gotten hacked already,” shared Zoey Hill, a Benton High School. “This camp helped me realize that anyone is a target and anything can happen to you.”
At the end of the week, Benton High School emerged as the first place winner and took home a technology award of $1,250. Following in second place, Catholic High School earned a $750 technology award.