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Švábenský, V., Vykopal, J..  2018.  Gathering Insights from Teenagers’ Hacking Experience with Authentic Cybersecurity Tools. 2018 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE). :1—4.

This Work-In-Progress Paper for the Innovative Practice Category presents a novel experiment in active learning of cybersecurity. We introduced a new workshop on hacking for an existing science-popularizing program at our university. The workshop participants, 28 teenagers, played a cybersecurity game designed for training undergraduates and professionals in penetration testing. Unlike in learning environments that are simplified for young learners, the game features a realistic virtual network infrastructure. This allows exploring security tools in an authentic scenario, which is complemented by a background story. Our research aim is to examine how young players approach using cybersecurity tools by interacting with the professional game. A preliminary analysis of the game session showed several challenges that the workshop participants faced. Nevertheless, they reported learning about security tools and exploits, and 61% of them reported wanting to learn more about cybersecurity after the workshop. Our results support the notion that young learners should be allowed more hands-on experience with security topics, both in formal education and informal extracurricular events.