With less than one week to go until the final of the 2018 CyberFirst Girls Competition, we are pleased to announce that award winning financial journalist and BBC Breakfast business presenter Steph McGovern will be a member of the panel.
On Monday, 19 March at an undisclosed Manchester location, 10 teams of girls will test their sleuthing and technological mettle against a series of head-scratching puzzles.
Up for grabs for the winning team is £1,000 towards IT equipment at their school, individual prizes for all the finalists, and a mystery reward.
The competition challenges are based on the variety of skills that are required to succeed in cyber security and will highlight the mix of exciting roles that are available in the industry.
Each team of four girls will present their solutions to the judging panel, including Steph McGovern; Nicky Hudson, Director of Communications at the NCSC, and Chris Ensor, Deputy Director for Cyber Skills and Growth.
Steph McGovern, competition panellist and BBC Breakfast presenter, said:
“Improving diversity in the scientific field is incredibly important to me and that is why I am thrilled to be supporting the National Cyber Security Centre’s CyberFirst Girls Competition.
“As a previous winner of Young Engineer for Britain, I know how interesting and exciting STEM subjects can be and I want other women to find that out as well.
“Good luck to all of the finalists – I hope that they’ll have as much fun cracking codes as I will being a panellist!”
A reminder of our finalists:
- The Furious 4, St Catherine's College, Armagh
- The Computifuls, The Piggott School, Berkshire
- Enigmatic, The Queen's School, Cheshire
- Zen Coders, Chelmsford County High School for Girls, Essex
- Tea Weasels, Chipping Campden School, Gloucestershire
- Marauders and Co, Pate's Grammar School, Gloucestershire
- NevAmJoYas, Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Kent
- Goggles, North London Collegiate School, Middlesex
- Tiffin 14, The Tiffin Girls' School, Surrey
- Little Miss Virtuals, St Augustine's Catholic College, Wiltshire
The CyberFirst Girls competition will attempt to knock down some of the barriers that have resulted in women being so worryingly under-represented in cyber security, where only 1 in 10 of the workforce are female. It is hoped that the next generation of tech-savvy girls will be inspired by their experience to take up computer science at GCSE and consider a career in the industry.
The UK government is fully committed to defending against cyber threats and address the cyber skills gap to develop and grow talent. A five year National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) was announced in November 2016, supported by £1.9billion of transformational investment.
The NCSC offers free CyberFirst courses for males and females aged 11-17. Opportunities to attend these courses are detailed here: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/new-talent