Comic-BEE: a perfect fit for cybersecurity camps and clubs
Summer camp and after school clubs provide a great opportunity for kids to explore new and different ideas. The number of camps offering a cybersecurity program keeps growing, providing more students exposure to this exciting domain. But finding activities that don’t require a complicated technical environment or a lot of preparation or training for the adults can be a significant challenge for cybersecurity camps, and clubs like the Girl Scouts. In addition, many camps and clubs are looking for shorter activities to round out their programming.
Comic-BEE Content Bundles can be a great addition to your K12 cybersecurity summer camp, after school club, or group. We have several comics that can be read by those with no experience with cybersecurity or writing code. All you need is a modern browser and internet connectivity – and reading comics works well on tablets and Chromebooks! These Content Bundles also include an Instructor Guide (PDF) with links to related materials and questions to guide discussions. Most middle and high school students will be able to read through and explore multiple pathways of a comic in less than ten minutes.
Use one of our existing comics to introduce an unfamiliar cyber concept by reading a comic as a group (ideal for younger learners), individually, or in pairs – exploring different story paths allows learners to see what happens with different choices. The included Instructor Guide adults to lead a discussion with campers about the comic and different choices and endings. Reading Comic-BEE comics can also be a simple but engaging supplemental hands-on activity after a presentation or video, or it can help keep early finishers of some other activity engaged.
Alternatively, make reading the comic a game or challenge after completing a related activity! Comic-BEE can automatically keep track of each reader’s choices and time, and then automatically score each reader. We provide anonymous access codes to distribute to your campers, who will see their individual score immediately after playing the comic. Complete scores and rankings will be emailed to you at the end of your challenge period, or you can manually create a leader board onsite by having players show you their scores as they finish.
The following comics are available as Comic-BEE Content Bundles:
A Day In the Life. An average day for a busy, modern family in today’s connected world reveals the cybersecurity challenges encountered by today’s tweens and teens, such as online gaming platforms, cell phone apps, virtual home assistants, and other internet connected home devices (the Internet of Things)!
Cyber Hygiene. Robin, a middle school student, tackles topics such as passwords setting up home wireless routers, securely configuring a browser, cell phones and apps, anti-virus, and connecting to public WiFi networks. Can she help keep her family secure online?
Cyber Ethics in School. Emma learns all about the challenges of ethics in the digital era as she campaigns for Vice President of her Student Council – will her campaign be a success or failure? You decide!
Cyber Crime Investigation. Join the cyber crime team at the National Bureau of Investigations as they try to discover the “digital footprints” of cyber criminals who stole millions of dollars from multiple banks, and learn about different cybersecurity work roles. Can you catch the all the hackers and other criminals involved in this cyber crime? Based on the real world Lurk malware investigation
For students with some hands-on experience through cyber clubs or competitions such as CyberPatriot, we offer two comics with more technical content.  
Nmap Apprentice. Using command-line Nmap, the open-source tool for vulnerability scanning and network discovery, determine if your new company’s network is secure before any bad guys find a way in! This comic is best for readers that have a basic understanding of Nmap commands, the strategy of how to scan and when to use specific options, and Nmap output.
For a deeper learning experience in situations with more time, kids love to create their own cybersecurity comic! We have found that students and adults can create a simple comic in 8-12 hours, depending on the scope of the story. Using a full computer with keyboard and mouse is highly recommended for creating comics; campers will be frustrated using a tablet or laptop without a separate mouse. Spread out the process of writing the story script, laying out the storyboard, creating their final comic and sharing it with others across several days – it is a great way to engage them in something fun and creative! The Camp Subscription option provides administrator accounts for camp instructors, a number of unnamed accounts for campers and the ability to publish comics to the Comic-BEE server. Comic-BEE does not require any personal details from campers; we suggest using generic account names. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate a comic-creation activity into your cybersecurity camp or club:
Provide campers a “seed comic” with the first few scenes of a story and ask them to complete the story, showing both a positive and negative ending. Younger campers may work best in pairs, while older campers can work alone. Ask campers to create a comic to educate their peers (or parents!) about a specific cybersecurity threat: show what could happen (the bad ending) and how to protect against the threat (the good ending) Ask campers to research a cybersecurity career work role that interests them and create a story showing what that work role does, who they work with and some of the tasks they perform.
Pricing of Content Bundles and Camp Subscriptions varies with the number of readers or accounts. If you have questions about how to use Content Bundles or Camp Subscriptions with your cybersecurity club or summer camp, or are interested in pricing, please contact us.