The IT-Adventures program is an outgrowth of a successful pilot project that ran for two years. The pilot project focused exclusively on information assurance and cyber defense.
In 2006, the first year of the pilot, approximately 100 high school students from 10 high schools learned about computer security and competed in the first high school cyber defense competition which was held at the Internet Scale Event and Attack Generation Environment (ISEAGE) facility in the Iowa State University research park.
In our second year, 2007, the program was expanded to 150 participants from 18 high schools. Each school that formed a HyperStream Club received equipment shipped to their high school a few months before the competition to create a security lab with which the students could experiment. College students from the Computer Engineering program at ISU developed lectures on operating system installations and networking which were video taped and then delivered to each team of students via DVD. Each high school team was also matched with an industry leader who provided mentoring when experiments went astray.
Students were able to connect to the ISEAGE facility from their school, install operating systems and set up basic services on their competition network approximately one month before the competition the ISEAGE facility was opened up for remote setup of the network that would be used in the contest.
In May, the high school clubs drove to ISU and started the real work — defending the network they setup over the course of the past month! They also had to act upon requests from their “end users” to make changes to the network services being provided through out the overnight competition. The event proved to be 15 hours of challenges that produced a group of tired but happy high school students, who had a new interest in technology.