A competition for young girls to learn more about cyber security was hosted by air traffic control company NATS.
The competition, held over the weekend, involved nine teams of Year 8 girls from several schools across the south. It formed part of the National Cyber Security Centre’s CyberFirst Girls campaign to encourage more young women into technology-based careers.
Battling it out to qualify for the CyberFirst Grand Final, each group was tasked with a series of fun activities to test their cyber security knowledge and highlight some of the key skills required for a rewarding career in the industry. The games included Instagram ‘cryptography’ and domino ‘coding’.
Andrew Cocking, Information and Cyber Security Manager at NATS, said: “Cyber security has become an increasingly important part of business, especially for Critical National Infrastructure like NATS – so we are really proud to continue supporting the NCSC’s CyberFirst scheme.
“We hope that events like this plant a seed of interest in the students and will potentially influence the subjects they choose to take at GCSE level.”
As part of NATS’ ongoing partnership with CyberFirst, this year four students will undertake summer placements with the air traffic control provider, and in September four more students will embark on year-long placements which will contribute towards their studies.
Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Skills and Growth, said: “It’s great to see girls from all corners of the UK putting their computing and cyber security skills to the test, and I wish them all the best of luck in this new round of the competition.
“Whether they progress to the final or not, hopefully many of the girls will be inspired to find out more about cyber security and pursue their interest in this exciting field.”
The winning teams from the regional semi-final will be invited to the Grand Final on 16 March to compete for the title of CyberFirst Girls Competition Winners 2020.