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Area High Schools Tackle Cyber Challenges Head-On

Students from sixarea high schools participated in Cyber Forensics Camp at Northwestern State University last week to learn how to utilize information and techniques to solve a crime. At the end of the week, teams identified their suspect and located his whereabouts.  Clues were provided as teams competed in daily cyber challenges, solved computer forensic puzzles, discussed various movie cyber topics, and completed a geo-location treasurehunt. On the last day of camp, teams presented an outline of their activities explaining their process of analysis and how they came to their conclusions. 

“Students are motivated when hands-on projects are incorporated into learning and Cyber Forensics camp does just that,” said Paul Spivey, outreach director for the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), which sponsored the weeklong residential camp through the Cyber Innovation Center. “Teachers help students collaborate in solving complex challenges, and as a result students are creating invaluable skill sets. Programs such as Cyber Forensics add another dimension to learning and engaging students in a 21st century approach.” 

Students from Natchitoches Central High School, Green Oaks Academy, Captain Shreve High School, Lakeview High School, West Monroe High School and Minden High School participated. Each high school team was comprised of six students and two teachers. This camp provided students with project-driven activities and rigorous discussions about internet safety, cyber security and cyber law. Students learned in a hands-on approach about forensics, crime scene investigation, steganography, cryptology, DNA testing, digital forensics and computer hardware as well how to recover deleted data from computer hard drives.

“The students have had a fun-filled and exciting week,” said Cyber Forensics Director Joe Morris. “They worked diligently to identify and locate the ‘suspect.’ The teacher and student teams fully enjoyed the suspense of solving this fictional crime. Northwestern State University is proud to host Cyber Forensics camp and hope to see the program grow throughout the years.”

The camp concluded Saturday with presentation and an awards ceremony. West Monroe High School emerged as thefirst place winner and earned $1,250. Second place and $750 were awarded toCaptain Shreve High School.

Chesapeake Energy is a supporter of science based education and supports the Cyber Innovation Center’s academic outreach efforts.

“We at Chesapeake find it remarkable how students are incorporating science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) into an entertaining environment,” said Paul Pratt, Chesapeake’s director of corporate development. “Investing in programs that promote technology and innovation is a key to our country’s success. For this reason, we are proud to support hands-on learning for students and teachers and hope Cyber Forensics is an enjoyable and a positive experience for all involved.”

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