New San Jose tech museum exhibit teaches kids about cybersecurity

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- An exhibit at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose gives visitors a kid friendly look inside the world of cybersecurity. It's a hot topic these days, and the museum has designed games to teach all about it.

At the new Cyber Detectives exhibit, kids learn how to spot the crooks and lock them out.

"The tech is all about inspiring the innovator in everyone and what inspires innovators is a problem to be solved," said Tech Museum President and CEO Tim Ritchie.

Complex ideas like cryptography are broken down into games.

"We just built our whole exhibit around that," said Tech Museum curator Michelle Maranowski. "Gaming has informed the entire exhibition."

It's an approachable way to teach an important subject.

"Our lives are becoming more and more and more digital, so we need to prepare ourselves for that future," Maranowski said.

But beyond being one of the keys to modern digital life, the exhibit's designers say learning about cybersecurity can also unlock an exciting new career.

On a series of guided missions, kids take on the role of a cybersecurity professional.

"We have such a lack of experts in the field," said Scott Simkin with Palo Alto Networks. "And we have to be training the folks who are gonna come in 10 to 15 years from now, so we can actually meet the demands of the corporations right here in the valley."

It's one reason Palo Alto Networks sponsored the exhibit.

"They're very very smart and they're getting the concepts right away," said Simkin.

And even if they don't do it for a living, it'll help them down the road.

"We know every one of them is a born problem solver," Ritchie said. "So we want to see them solving problems."

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