This week the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) opened registration on its CyberFirst Girls’ Competition, a free contest that sees young women from school years eight and nine compete in a series of online cyber security focused puzzles and challenges.
The competition, now in its fourth year, has a new format that brings semi-finals across the UK, accumulating in a national final that will showcase the best emerging female cyber security talent that the UK has to offer.
Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Skills and Growth commented in a release that: “The new nationwide semi-finals we have introduced for this year’s CyberFirst Girl’s Competition allow us to unearth cyber talent from all over the UK.”
“The thousands of girls who have previously taken part have found the experience both challenging and fun, and I would again strongly encourage girls up and down the country to get involved to make 2020 our biggest competition yet.”
CyberFirst Girls Competition
Last year nearly 12,000 girls were involved in the CyberFirst Girls competition. The NCSC notes that interest in the CyberFirst Girls competition has risen by 110 percent in comparison to the previous year.
During the event the competitors form teams of four and try their hand at cyber challenges such as code breaking and problem solving. The challenges are based on school’s computer science syllabus, as well as more challenging cyber topics set by the NCSC that would not be include in traditional education.
Out of the 12,000 girls who took part this last year, 705 were also involved in the CyberFirst Defenders courses, on which 14 to 15-year-olds were shown how to build and defend personal devices and networks.
The competition is open to young women in school years eight England and Wales, year nine in Northern Ireland and S2 in Scotland. Registration is open till the 21 of January 2020.