The CyberFirst Girls Competition is back for 2019 and it promises to be bigger than ever before.
In 2017, when we developed the idea of holding a competition to encourage more young girls to study GCSE computer science, I don’t think we appreciated the huge interest that it would generate and the fantastic talent that it would uncover. In hindsight, we shouldn’t have been surprised – a quick glimpse into GCHQ’s 100 year history sees women playing an incredibly important part in the development of cutting edge technology and code breaking – most prominently at Bletchley Park. It’s this lateral innovative thinking, creativity and team work which will help teams of up to 4 girls, in year 8, S2 in Scotland and Year 9 in Northern Ireland, compete in the UK’s biggest cyber security competition.
The competition is made up of two parts; the online round and the grand final. If you know of a school that may be interested in entering teams then please encourage a representative of the school to register or perhaps even consider volunteering to help them enter a team. Already we have seen hundreds of schools registered with thousands of girls set to compete in the online round which begins on Monday 21st January at noon and will run until noon Monday 28th January 2019.
We really want to provide the opportunity to enter this free, fun and informative competition to every eligible girl in the UK. With the top ten teams being invited to Edinburgh for a grand final on 24/25th March, it shouldn't be missed!
As an added incentive to all the girls competing in the competition, we will be offering around 600 free places on some specially commissioned 4/5 day CyberFirst Defenders courses in April and May 2019. These courses will be ‘all girls’ and a mix of residential and non-residential at locations across the UK.
So, if you haven't already, head to the CyberFirst website and play your part in a competition that is helping to encourage more young girls to consider computer science as a career defining opportunity.
Deputy Director, Cyber Skills & Growth