Friday the 19th saw team ‘Hacker Girls’ Erin Vincent and Catherine Sinnott taking part in the Semi final of the Cyber Girls competition hosted by the National Cyber Security Centre.
This included a full day of competing for a place in the final against other schools across the country.
The girls took on a variety of challenges throughout the day including; Cryptography, Cyber Security, Logic & Coding, & Networking.
It was very competitive and the final judgment had to be delayed due to rule infringements, by other schools, while investigations were carried out, we had to wait until Monday to find out the final result. Unfortunately the girls didn’t make it to the final this time, however I was really impressed by their enthusiasm and way they worked together as a team on each of the challenges. Well done girls!. It was fantastic event, and we will be back next year to give it another go.
The girls had this to say about the competition.
Erin Vincent: “It’s a shame but we both had lots of fun, so thank you very much. During the competition, I have learnt so much about Computer Science and coding that I thought I never would. Its really inspired me and I am now considering a career in computer science!”
Catherine Sinnott: “Throughout the competition I have learned a range of interesting skills. These included the development of my problem solving skills”
There is a serious element to the purpose of the competition in that it was designed by the National Cyber Security Centre with the aim of raising the profile of Computer Science for girls across the country. In fact there are lots of competitions and events of this nature as the lack of females employed in STEM sector roles is only 20%. This lack of gender diversity has been highlighted as a national problem for the IT sector. Here is a recent news article that discusses the problems in more detail.
The National Cyber Security Centre are also currently developing free Summer courses for girls that are available for booking from 29th April 2021, including; CyberFirst Defenders (14-15yrs), Futures (15-16yrs) and Advanced (16-17yrs). Follow this link to register your interest and for booking.
“Please note that all of our courses are extra-curricular and are to be booked by the girls or their parents/guardians directly, no teacher involvement is required. Places get booked up very quickly, so please ensure that you register interest early and book as soon as the link opens.”