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CySec Research: Measuring Impact

The goal of CySec is to build student enthusiasm about cybersecurity careers while also increasing their knowledge related to cybersecurity.  But how will we know if CySec is helping students reach those goals?

Though cybersecurity is a hot topic and there is a growing need for cybersecurity experts, based on reviews of current research, our project is unique because there is a paucity of empirical research on cybersecurity education in K-12 settings. There is, however, research indicating that students begin to lose interest in STEM fields, including cybersecurity, during their middle school years. Additionally, research indicates that the field of cybersecurity is overwhelmingly staffed by white males and lacks diversity. As a result, there is a national shortage of cybersecurity experts and the field does not know how to train the next generation of experts. The research conducted on CySec aims to address this need by assessing the use of a collectible card game as an educational tool.

To determine if students are achieving our desired goals, we will conduct a pre and post-test to determine what principles of cybersecurity students are learning, and to assess their enthusiasm to pursue a career in cybersecurity.