Three Purdue University Northwest – (PNW) faculty members secured a federal grant of $205,921 to develop an educational program designed to encourage high school students to consider careers in the growing field of cybersecurity. The project is part of a national educational cybersecurity initiative sponsored by the National Security Agency.

The grant will feature a collaboration among faculty members in the university’s College of Technology and College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, and from three different programs.
The PNW team will develop a series of web-based, interactive cybersecurity games for students in kindergarten through high school. The goal is to encourage the development of high school courses that can be used as elective or transfer college credits.
The Purdue Northwest participants are Michael Tu, lead principal investigator and professor of computer information technology; Ge Jin, co-principal investigator and professor of computer information technology and graphics; and Yueqi Zhang, co-principal investigator and associate professor of communication and creative arts.

Tu said the activities will feature practical, game-based learning.
“As part of a national K-12 cybersecurity education initiative, this project is expected to inspire more K-12 students’ interests in cybersecurity education and introduce more students into the pipeline of the future cybersecurity workforce to fill the ever-increasing national demand,” Tu said.
Zhang said the project will include phases in market research, visualization and programming during this year.
“I believe that the project provides a great opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration,” Zhang said. “Also, it is an academic endeavor for applying innovative visual communication design philosophy with cutting-edge computer information technology and computer graphic technology, and benefiting the Northwest Indiana youth community.”

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