Comic-BEE has received the Building Tomorrow’s Workforce Award from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (DHS S&T) Directorate’s Funded Performer Awards. DHS S&T awards this honor to a funded project that best helps develop the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

The award ceremony took place on March 19th, as part of the 2019 DHS S&T Cybersecurity and Innovation Showcase in Washington, D.C. Laurin Buchanan, Principal Investigator for Comic-BEE, attended the ceremony and accepted the award.

“I am deeply honored by this acknowledgement of Comic-BEE’s broad potential on the cyber workforce pipeline, from K12 students to adults already in the workforce, including those reskilling for cyber work roles,” Ms. Buchanan said. “I am grateful for all the support and encouragement Comic-BEE has received from Doug Maughan and his team—in particular from our program manager Ed Rhyne, who had a real vision for how branching comics could be used. DHS Showcase events always provided us a unique opportunity to meet others interested in new approaches for cybersecurity education and get valuable feedback from the community.”

Developed by Secure Decisions, Comic-BEE is a web application that helps users create educational, branching web comics, in which learners read a story and make choices that affect the storyline. By enabling exploration of branching story paths and seeing both positive and negative consequences of their decisions in a safe environment, web comics can help learners understand basic cyber concepts and learn strategic thinking about cyber risks and tradeoffs. Comic-BEE includes everything needed to create a branching web comic, including professionally created artwork. It was designed to support cyber workforce development needs and has integrated the categories, work roles, KSAs and tasks from the NICE Workforce Framework. An optional, automated scoring capability enables Comic-BEE comics to be used as assessments across a wide range of cyber concepts and skills, using only a browser.

Comic-BEE is based on research sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, Cyber Security Division (DHS S&T/CSD) via contract numbers HSHQDC-14-C-B0019 and HHSP233201600057C.

You can learn more about Comic-BEE and sign up for a free 30-day trial here.