GCHQ CyberFirst Girls

Year 9 and 10 female computer scientists were invited to a Girls Development Day at Bradford University recently, learning all about Cyber Security as part of a GCHQ scheme to get more girls into Cyber jobs.  The event hosted a range of women in industry delivering workshops and talks about their jobs and different aspects of computer science security.  Emily Rushworth won a prize for her well thought out responses to questions during the opening talks.  Workshops included an informative look at how information travels across the Internet using Lego™ as well as discovering the ease in which information can be intercepted with simple freely available software.  The girls learnt about encryption using software they are familiar with such as WhatsApp.  They then excelled in a session on digital footprints where they searched for online information about themselves; considering the implications of their online reputation and the effects this could have on their employability.  The final session saw a discussion on what phishing is with useful advice about how to protect yourself and your family before creating the perfect phishing scam.  Two of our students were successful in winning a chocolatey prize for best design.  Unfortunately due to the presence of GCHQ we weren’t allowed to take photographs but the girls thoroughly enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to participating in the Cyber Security competition for girls commencing September this year.  So watch this space… with the high calibre of girls on the course we are sure to have some winners.


Teacher of Computer Science and ICT at Beckfoot Thornton school in Bradford.