Blog post

4,500 young women race to complete CyberFirst Girls online challenge

Created:  11 Feb 2018
Updated:  11 Feb 2018
Author:  Rosily J
Part of:  New talent
CyberFirst competitor

We have been blown away by the fantastic response to this year’s CyberFirst Girls Competition. The chance to complete as many of the challenges as possible closed last Monday, and on Wednesday (14th February) we will reveal the top 10 teams who have qualified for March’s grand final in Manchester.

However, we thought it would be fitting to mark today’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science by revealing some of the fantastic stats around the 12-and 13-year-old girls who have made this year’s contest such a success.

During the week the competition was online:

77 The number of seconds taken for the first successful answer
156 Head-scratching challenges were cracked – only 14 remain unsolved!
399 Schools took part in the competition
1,146 Tweets were sent using our hashtag #girlscomp18 
1,270 Teams pit their wits against one another
4,500 Girls raced to complete as many challenges as possible
204,228 Answers submitted


Having more than 4,500 girls enter the competition is a huge success for just one school year. As is fitting on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the scale and speed of the participation, and commitment of the entrants reflects the enthusiasm and talent that girls have for cyber security and problem solving.

Cyber security is an industry where females are greatly underrepresented, with only one in ten being female. Giving young girls the opportunity to experience the subject before they make their GCSE choices is one of the ways in which the NCSC and GCHQ are trying to address this gender imbalance. 

A big congratulations to everyone involved - we hope you had fun. We'll be announcing the finalists next week, so watch this space. And lastly, we would like to offer a special congratulations to Patcham High School in Brighton for being the fastest team to submit a correct answer – cracking a challenge just 77 seconds after the contest opened!

Check out the teams in action on Twitter with the hashtag #GirlsComp18 and read about last year's finalists Hanley Castle High School for Girls trip to London here

Rosily J
Media Communications Officer

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NCSC Communications Team - 26 Jul 2018
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