A team of Gloucestershire schoolgirls could be crowned cyber security champions at the national CyberFirst Girls Competition, with registration now open for tech-savvy students in Year 8 to take part in this year's contest.
Open to students across the UK, it's the National Cyber Security Centre's annual flagship cyber security contest for schools, designed to introduce 12 to 13-year-old girls to the world of cyber security with the hope of inspiring them to explore career opportunities within the growing industry.
Schools across the country are encouraged to put their students in the running, entering as many teams of up to four Year 8 girls as they like.
Participants get to work together and flex their tech skills, solving cyber security puzzles — from cryptography to logic and coding, and even artificial intelligence and networking — to be crowned the winners.
Best of all, every girl from the highest-scoring teams wins a brand-new laptop to take home, along with the opportunity to win prize money for their school.
The entire competition is being held online this year, but the 13 top-scoring teams from each UK region and home nations will be invited to an event to celebrate their achievements, too.
Whether they're just starting out or already a whizz when it comes to cyber, the competition gives students of all abilities the chance to learn something new about cyber security and inspire them to consider a career within the industry.
The content is consistent with what's taught in subjects within the Computer Science syllabus from the National Curriculum and Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence, but students should expect to encounter some advanced cyber topics that aren't covered in traditional education to stretch their knowledge.
Registration is now open via the CyberFirst Schools website, where schools can find more information about the competition and eligibility criteria.
The 2023 CyberFirst Girls Competition runs from Monday 20 to Wednesday 29 November 2023.